Posted March 7, 2012
There is nothing like a child’s silly grin or hilarious laugh to make parents smile.
To ensure kids enjoy good health throughout their school-age years, parents need to take advantage of health screenings available through health clinics and physician offices. The new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March 2010, reinforces the importance of health care screenings by requiring most insurance plans to pay for preventive care evaluations.
National health experts have developed suggested guidelines for screening tests. However, some doctors and health insurance companies may have different frequency preferences. Prior to scheduling a recommended evaluation, parents should verify their insurance coverage. Here’s a list of health screening options for school-age kids under 20 years old:
- Annual health evaluations – Review of height, weight, skin and blood pressure, including possible screenings for diabetes, tuberculosis, cholesterol and anemia
- Dental checkups – Every six months (or as directed by the dentist)
- Vision screening – Initially when entering school and then every two years (or more frequently, as determined by the eye doctor)
- Hearing exam – every two to five years (or as directed by the hearing professional)
It’s up to parents and care givers to encourage kids to stay healthy by:
- Providing them with nutritious foods and beverages
- Supplying ample opportunities for daily exercise
- Promoting daily hygiene, including washing hands and brushing teeth
- Setting a good example
- Scheduling them for health screenings as determined by their doctor and health care professionals
See the Today Show’s report on why preventive dental care is important: Preschoolers in surgery for a mouthful of cavities.