September 24, 2013
Free health screenings, medical information, and follow-up services will be offered to nearly 750 local children who attend state preschools at health fairs in Isla Vista, Santa Barbara, and Lompoc over the next several weeks.
Nurses, medical assistants, health advocates, and volunteers from more than 20 agencies will provide vision, hearing, and height and weight screenings. In addition, dentists and hygienists are volunteering to provide dental screenings and fluoride varnish at the events organized by the Health Linkages Program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office’s Child Development Department.
“Illness can interfere with children’s learning and development, and early recognition of health problems results in more effective treatment,” said county Superintendent of Schools Bill Cirone. “These health fairs will not only identify children with health concerns but will provide families with the resources to address those needs.”
The health fairs are scheduled for Sept. 27 at the Isla Vista Teen Center, Oct. 18 at Franklin Community Center in Santa Barbara, and Oct. 25 at the Lompoc Unified School District’s Adult Education Center.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and other professional organizations, periodic health screenings for preschool children are important for many reasons:
The agencies providing health screenings include Santa Barbara County Public Health, American Indian Health Services, Isla Vista Youth Projects, Santa Barbara City College and California State University Channel Islands nursing programs, Santa Barbara Business College, Goleta and Lompoc Lions Clubs and the Lions Sight and Hearing Center of Santa Barbara, Family Service Agency, Community Action Commission, Dorothy Jackson Family Resource Center, Promotores de Salud, and local dental providers.
Staff from Isa Vista Youth Projects and Family Service Agency Family Resource Centers will offer case management assistance for each child who needs a follow-up exam or treatment in Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Lompoc. Direct Relief International is providing family dental kits.
Agencies that will provide health and safety information and answer questions include the Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services MediCal Outreach and Public Health Department Children’s Health and Disability Prevention Program, Santa Barbara County Children’s Health Initiative, CALM, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, CenCal Health, Santa Barbara Fire Department and Police Department, Santa Barbara County Food Bank, Planned Parenthood, Domestic Violence Solutions, Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, SBCEO Migrant Education Program and Welcome Every Baby Program, Nutrition Network, and Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
Additional organizations that want to participate are invited to call Health Linkages Coordinator Georgene Lowe at the Santa Barbara County Education Office, 964-4710, ext. 4455.