SC tops class for health checks

More than 700 children checked in 11 months

ALEXIA JOHNSTON
Last updated 05:00 02/07/2014
Bailee Hende and Tinks Arscott
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ
READY FOR SCHOOL: Bailee Hende, 4, undergoes a B4 School check with the help of public health nurse Tinks Arscott.

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Bailee Hende is among the children helping make South Canterbury District Health Board (SCDHB) the best health board in the country for B4 School Checks.

The SCDHB ranked top in the country in the past month for putting children through health checks before they start school.

Yesterday Bailee had her turn at being weighed, measured and assessed in preparation for school.

The checks, which take 45 minutes to an hour to complete, include a questionnaire focusing on strengths and difficulties. Growth and dental checks are also included, as is making sure each child is enrolled with a dental therapist.

Clinical nurse manager for public health nursing Judy Cooper said the DHB's success rate in ensuring children come through the system was helped by good connections within the community.

Links had been established with early childhood centres, dental therapists and other health professionals.

She was waiting to hear where the DHB stood in the country for B4 School Checks for the year, with the hope it was still ranked the best in the country.

More than 700 children have been checked in the past 11 months.

General manager of primary and community services Fiona Pimm thanked those who had supported the programme.

"We are grateful to all South Canterbury parents of 4-year-olds and health and education professionals who have been very proactive in engaging parents and promoting the B4 School check."

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- The Timaru Herald

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