Kids health fair to cover all areas of youth vitality

If you go

What: Back-to-School Health Fair

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Memorial Hospital Medical Clinic, 785 Russell St.

The event will offer multiple health services by TMH, Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition and other agencies. Free bike helmets are available to the first 250 children who attend. For more information, call Jennifer Riley at 826-3109.

— As parents ready their children for another school year, some parts of the back-to-school checklist are easier to cross off than others. Making sure students are at their healthiest as they head to class can involve a lot of appointments and running around to multiple locations, so being able to access several different services in one location is a real boost for busy parents.

The Memorial Hospital will host the inaugural Back-to-School Health Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at its medical clinic at 785 Russell St. Held in conjunction with numerous health organizations around Craig and other groups donating their time, the event will help area parents stay on top of their children’s well-being.

TMH’s Chief of Organizational Excellence Jennifer Riley said the event was born out of a need to have something like the adult-focused spring community health fair but for ages 4 to 18.

“To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time we’ve been able to have something like this just for kids,” she said.

Services at the health fair include: blood screenings for lead, glucose and hemoglobin; checks for height, weight, blood pressure, hearing and vision; and other health tests. Many services are completely free, with others handled by Medicaid or billable to insurance companies.

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association will be providing immunizations such as DTaP, Tdap, MMR and varicella (chicken pox).

“It’s pretty much all the vaccines required for going back to school and some non-mandated ones like Hepatitis A, and we should have access to anything someone might need,” said Terri Jourgensen, VNA’s clinic nurse manager. “This is a great opportunity for all of us to see these kids regardless of where they get their primary care.”

Other agencies providing services include Moffat County School District, Eyecare Specialties, Boys & Girls Club of Craig, Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition and Connections 4 Kids.

Amanda Arnold, oral health coordinator for Connections, said members from the Dental Coalition will screen children's teeth and offer fluoride varnish, in addition to speaking with parents about the necessity of dental health.

“It’s important to educate the community about how their oral health can have an impact on the rest of their physical health,” Arnold said. “I think this will be very beneficial because when they have screenings at the schools, parents aren’t there. . .so here they’ll be together, and we can share information with the whole family.”

Experts will also talk to kids about hygiene, nutrition and safety topics like fire extinguisher use and bicycling. In addition to other school supplies that will be available there, TMH has a stockpile of bike helmets free to the first 250 children who show up Saturday.

Riley’s goal is to see every helmet go home with a child.

“Having 250 parents and kids turn up would be great, but we can certainly handle more,” she said.

Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@craigdailypress.com.

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