Time for a check up

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 15, 2010

As part of a statewide KidCheck initiative, Opp students are having basic health screens this week.

Opp Elementary School students were screened for basic abnormalities Wednesday and students at Opp Middle School will be screened today.

And this is good news, OCS head nurse and KidCheck coordinator Rita Drew said.

“A lot of kids don’t get regular checkups,” she said. “The KidCheck program allows children to be screened at no cost for things such as blood pressure, vision, hearing and dental problems.”

The program is an intiative of Gov. Bob Riley’s Alabama Rural Action Commission and the screenings are conducted by two or four-year college nursing programs.

“MacArthur nursing students are conducting the screenings for us,” Drew said. “The health science students from Opp High School are also helping. They are checking temperatures.”

Drew said the results are reviewed by registered nurses on hand and if any abnormalities are found they work with the parents to make sure follow ups are made with proper physicians.

“We work with them if they have no insurance,” Drew said. “Sightsavers does the vision referrals.”

Drew said they also work with those who qualify to get health coverage from Medicaid or All Kids, the children’s health insurance program offered by the Alabama Department of Public Health for children under age 19. All Kids helps families who do not qualify for Medicaid because they earn too much or do not earn enough to get private health insurance.

For those who don’t qualify for either program, some help is available from the Alabama Child Caring Foundation, Drew said.

This is the first year the event has been conducted at the elementary school, but Drew said OMS was a pilot program last year.

“We hope to expand to the high school next year,” Drew said.

In order for students to participate in the program, parents must give consent for the assessment.