UNDATED (WSAU) -- It’s almost time for school, and parents will find that 4K and kindergarten child exams vary a bit from county to county, even though they all require the same things. Some counties hold their own screening clinics. Others refer parents to their family doctor.
Eileen Eckardt is the Director of Family Health and Communicable Disease for Marathon County. She says Marathon County recommends children have a thorough examination by their doctor. “We recommend that kids see their medical providers so that they can get a checkup and have some developmental screening done, and get up to date with their immunizations, and then the provider will talk to the also about parenting and provide information that leads to more helpful parenting.”
Eckardt says it is important to catch problems early. “Getting those kind of preventive well child exams helps them identify problems early so that they can intervene, so that child has the best chance of success in school.” She adds, “Any kind of developmental delay will hold down their success in school, so that, if a child is not achieving developmental milestones, they’re not going to be able to learn along with the other kids, so that’s why getting that developmental screening at their provider’s office helps identify those problems early so that people can get the kind of help they need so kids can achieve.”
Melanie Baehr is Portage County’s Public Health Nurse Supervisor. They also recommend parents take children to their family doctor for exams, and they remind parents to make sure immunizations are up to date. “For kindergarten, they are required to have two immunizations of varicella, they should have received their fifth dose of DTAP, which is diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. They should have received their MMR, which is measles, mumps, and rubella, and then the rest of the standard vaccinations. They should have four doses of the polio vaccine, and three of HEB, which is homoflous and influenza.”
Baehr says they offer immunization shots at the Ruth Gilfry Center, but there are times when it is best to get them from your family doctor. “If parents have insurance that covers the vaccine, we encourage them to go to their provider for the vaccine. If not, they are certainly welcome to come here.”
In Lincoln County, they offer free health exams to all 4K and kindergarten students right at the County Health Department. The free exams are for any child in the county, and are set for August 7th between 1:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Appointments will be necessary, and can be arranged by calling 715-536-0307.