MEDIA RELEASE: Healthy Kids Bus Stop Coming to South West Rocks & Kempsey

HKBS1       RFW_logo_RGB       Hunter New England Local Health District       Schwartz Foundation

Understanding early childhood health and development is critical, which is why some local families have already booked up for the upcoming Healthy Kids Bus Stop free health checks at South West Rocks and Kempsey.

The Healthy Kids Bus Stop will be at South West Rocks Public School on 24 – 25 July, and then at Kempsey West Public School, Kempsey from 26 – 27 July. The Bus Stop program will see more than 60 children aged between 3-5 years from across the region at both locations.

To access this award-winning program, parents and carers need to register online at http://www.royalfarwest.org.au/healthy-kids-bus-stop, or call Jennifer Goonan on 02 8966 8500 for more information.

The Healthy Kids Bus Stop is an integrated ‘whole of child’ health and developmental assessment and pathway to care program which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of children living in rural and remote communities through early detection of lifestyle risk factors, delayed development and/or illness.

The assessments are undertaken by a team of nursing and allied health staff and include a child health check, hearing screening, dental check, fine and gross motor skill development screening, language and speech development check and a food nutrition check.

As part of the program, the children receive a bus pass, which is stamped at each ‘bus stop’ station health check they complete. When all required stations have been completed, the children are given a Healthy Kids Bus Stop bag containing items to promote healthy habits and play.

Importantly, the program’s pathway to care ensures that children are given a referral pathway to receive the ongoing support they need, through collaborative partnerships with local service providers and Royal Far West.

Nationals Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker believes Royal Far West provides an excellent service for regional communities. “Royal Far West does a great job in providing health services to children in regional areas,” Mr Hartsuyker said. “These free health screening checks will take some pressure off parents, knowing that their young ones have been seen to by trained health professionals. These checks include hearing, oral health, fine and gross motor skills, speech, as well as food and nutrition – all crucial aspects of a young person’s health.”

Mid North Coast Local Health District Acting Chief Executive Bronwyn Chalker says, “The Healthy Kids Bus Stop provides the opportunity to connect the child’s local GP with the Child and Family Health Nurse and other local and specialist services, providing a whole picture of the child’s health and developmental needs. Welcoming the bus to our local area ensures our children are able to access this important health assessment program”.

The Healthy Kids Bus Stop is being brought to South West Rocks and Kempsey by Royal Far West through a partnership with the Mid North Coast Local Health District and Ronald McDonald House Charities, with funding support from The Schwartz Foundation.

Pic: Delighted graduates of the Healthy Kids Bus Stop with their stamped bus passes

Royal Far West media contact: Deb Gibbons, PR Manager. Ph: 02 8966 8535, 0413 554 834

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