Checks be­fore school give kids a head start

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

More fam­i­lies are mak­ing use of free B4 School Checks.

Nearly 80 per cent of 4-yearolds re­ceived a B4 School Check last year – an in­crease of around 30 per cent on pre­vi­ous years.

Plun­ket clin­i­cal ad­viser San­dra Innes says the B4 School Check en­sures all chil­dren get the best pos­si­ble start to their school life.

‘‘It’s an op­por­tu­nity to help fam­i­lies spot any is­sues that might im­pact their child’s abil­ity to learn when they start school.

‘‘Things such as hear­ing, eye­sight, be­havioural and phys­i­cal devel­op­ment are all as­sessed,’’ Ms Innes says. If any is­sues are iden­ti­fied chil­dren can be re­ferred to a GP, spe­cial­ist or other ser­vices.

B4 School is the last check within the free Well Child frame­work which pro­vides for 12 core health as­sess­ments up to the age of 5.

But a lot of fam­i­lies are still un­aware of the free health checks for their chil­dren, Ms Innes says.

‘‘Even if you’ve missed a few vis­its it’s never too late to start.

‘‘Plun­ket en­cour­ages all par­ents and care­givers to make con­tact with a Well Child provider and give their child the best start in life.’’

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