Kempsey and Laurieton will host the award-winning developmental screening program Healthy Kids Bus Stop October 28 to November 1.
Healthy Kids Bus Stop delivers free health checks and observes the developmental trajectory of children aged three to five. Royal Far West, in partnership with the Mid North Local Health District and Ronald McDonald House Charities, will operate the program at Kempsey Showground on October 28 and 29. Laurieton will host it at St Peters Church Hall from October 31 to November 1. Bookings are essential and close October 18.
The Kempsey and Laurieton Healthy Kids Bus Stop will test children's developmental milestones, identifying any potential barriers to them maximising their learning opportunities at school. Pathways and strategies will then be developed for children who might benefit from extra support and early intervention.
Designed to be fun and interactive, children progress through bus stops or 'health stations', hopping on and off at each station to complete their health assessment. The bus stop was last in Kempsey in 2017 and by all accounts the visit proved very worthwhile.
"We received great community support with 73 children screened over three days, with 62 requiring follow-up, mainly in the areas of audiometry, speech therapy and occupational therapy," Royal Far West's Community Programs Manager John Reid said.
"This year's comprehensive health stations will include screening and assessment for oral health, hearing, food and nutrition, StEPS vision screening, language and speech development, and fine and gross motor skill development.
"These are all important areas of children's current health and wellbeing, allowing parents the opportunity to address any issues that may affect their future development. There have been many instances where issues have been picked up that parents had not identified - most of us are not experts in these areas, and it is a great opportunity to have these checks done in the one location on the same day."
Between health stations, children visit the play area while parents and carers consult further with the multidisciplinary team of health professionals and collect health promotion materials. A general Child Health Check is also included, which assesses a child's immunisation status and developmental milestones.
Children requiring further assessment will be referred to appropriate local services, and those with complex needs may also be referred to Royal Far West's Paediatric Developmental Program.
Children must be registered to attend the Bus Stop. This can be done at www.royalfarwest.org.au/programs/healthy-kids-bus-stop or by calling the team on 02 8966 8557 for more information.
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