Craig Health Briefs Aug. 16, 2014: Kids Health Fair to take place at Moffat County School District Administration Building

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A health fair for kids ages 3 to 6 will take place from 8 to 4 p.m. Aug. 25 at the MCSD Administration Building at 775 Yampa Ave. in Craig. Basic screenings for vision, hearing, dental, speech and developmental will be available.

Call 970-826-6279 to set up an appointment.

Colorado teen marijuana use continues to decrease post legalization

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released new data last week showing that teen marijuana use has continued to decrease post legalization.

The data shows that the rate of marijuana use among Colorado high school students decreased from 22 to 20 percent between 2011 and 2013. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that national teen marijuana usage remained virtually unchanged within the same time period. The CDPHE survey also shows that lifetime use by high school students has declined from 39 percent to 37 percent during the same two years.

Life-change events can impact insurance eligibility

Colorado residents who have had a life-change event in the past month may qualify for health insurance coverage through Connect for Health Colorado outside of the open enrollment period.

Among the possible conditions:

• Marriage, birth, adoption and placement for foster care.

• Your previous insurance plan or Medicaid coverage was canceled or ended.

• You changed jobs and lost your employer-sponsored insurance.

• You gained citizenship or immigration status.

• You experienced a change in incarceration status.

• You moved to Colorado.

For more information or to meet with a health coverage guide, call 970-871-7664 in Moffat County or 970-871-7638 in Routt County.

Visiting Nurse Association offers incentive for new mothers to quit smoking

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association is offering the Baby & Me Tobacco Free Program.

The free program offers prenatal smoking cessations sessions. Expectant moms that quit smoking and remain smoke-free during their pregnancy and after their baby is born will receive a monthly voucher for free diapers, for up to 12 months.

For more information, call Hope Cook at 970-871-7622.

VNA: Check your child’s vaccine record

Several adolescent vaccines are given in a series, which if not finished leaves your child incompletely protected. Protection provided by some childhood vaccines, such as pertussis (whooping cough), begins to wear off by adolescence. Three vaccines are recommended at age 11 to 12 years old. If your teen missed these shots, VNA officials advise they should “catch up.” The shots can be given at any medical office visit, camp or sports physical:

• Tdap vaccine is a booster against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Pertussis, or whooping cough, can keep kids out of school and activities for weeks. It can also be spread to babies, which can be very dangerous. In Colorado, the Tdap vaccine is required for entry into sixth grade.

• Meningococcal vaccine protects against meningococcal disease. Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria and is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis (a serious infection around the brain and spinal cord) and its complications. A booster dose is recommended at age 16.

• HPV vaccine protects girls and women against the types of HPV that most commonly cause cervical cancer. HPV vaccine can also protect boys against genital warts and other cancers. Immunization against HPV is a series of three shots over six months.

Every year, children and adolescents should receive an influenza (flu) vaccine too, because even healthy kids get the flu, which can be serious.

For families with health insurance, all or most of the cost of vaccines is covered. For families without insurance, children 18 and younger are eligible to get vaccines at low or no cost through the Vaccines For Children program . You can find out more about the VFC program or about these vaccines by contacting your health care provider, the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association at 970-824-8233, or by contacting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/teens or 1-800-CDC-INFO.

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