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Summer: a great time to catch up on your child’s screenings, well-child doctor’s visit

It’s July and summer is in full swing. And if you’re a parent, you’ve been asking yourself for some weeks now, “What am I going to do to keep my kids active and thriving over the summer?”

It’s a good question. Your kids just want to have fun, and you just want them to be safe and healthy.

Here are a few tips that might help.

  • Limit that screen time. Set some reasonable rules for how long your children can be watching TV, browsing the internet, texting, or playing video games; you may want to consider an app to help limit their smartphone screen time (apps work for adults too!). Talk to your child about being safe on the internet. Set a good example yourself, by being careful of your own screen time, and getting some exercise every day.
  • Encourage physical activities. Check the parks and recreation department for ideas and urge your children to play outside.
  • This month especially, teach and demonstrate good fireworks safety as well as water safety around swimming pools.
  • Keep them ready for the sun.
    • Have water handy, and teach your children it’s important to drink before they feel thirsty.
    • Help your child put on water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. Remember, it needs to be reapplied.
    • Dress your child in lightweight, light-colored clothing and a hat, especially when it’s hot.
  • Teach your child how to use 911 for emergencies.
  • Schedule a well-child visit to your doctor if your child hasn’t had it this year. You won’t have to take your kids out of school to get that well-child check, or their dental check (remember: Oregon Health Plan covers comprehensive dental care). You can catch up on vaccines, and if your child is 5 or younger, you can have their developmental screening. If your child plays sports during the school year, this is a good way to get the sports physical covered and out of the way at the same time—ahead of schedule!

    What is developmental screening?

    “Developmental screening is a recommended primary care service for kids at specific intervals in their first three years of life,” says Nicki Jepeal, Quality Improvement Analytics Manager for CareOregon.

    There are a number of screening tools that can be used (see below), but they all do the same thing.

    “The purpose is to identify kids who are at risk for delays in physical, cognitive, behavioral or social development,” she says. “When you get that early identification, you can take intervention steps earlier and have better chance for positive results for your kids.”

     

    RESOURCES

     How can I protect my children from the sun?

     Screen Time vs. Lean Time

     Children and Media Tips

     City of Medford Fireworks Facts & Safety

     Strong Families

     Well-child visits, what to expect, U.S. National Library of Medicine

     Children and vaccines

     Developmental screening for children from birth to 5 years of age

     Developmental screening tools accepted by the Oregon Health Plan:

  • Ages and Stages Questionnaires, Third Edition (ASQ-3)
  • Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS)
  • Battelle Developmental Inventory Scoring Tool (BDI-ST)
  • Bayley Infant Neuro Developmental Screening (BINS)
  • Brigance Screens –II
  • Child Developmental Inventory (CDI)
  • Infant Development Inventory

 

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