After a long period limited to virtual services due to COVID-19, the Healthy Kids Bus Stop team have been excited to dust off their boots, tune up the engine and get back on the road to visit some of NSW rural communities.
Throughout May and June, the Healthy Kids Bus Stop connected child and family health nurses, audiometry, dietetics, oral health, speech pathology and occupational therapy screening to children in several locations, providing comprehensive developmental health and school-readiness checks.
The team visited Hillston, Hay, Nana Glen, Ulong, Parkes, Trundle and Peak Hill.
The assessments included a complete child health check comprising a hearing screening, dental check, fine and gross motor skill development screening, language and speech development check as well as a food nutrition check.
Identifying children’s developmental concerns before they start school is critical to their life trajectory, and this program is designed to help identify children who will benefit from some form of early intervention prior to starting school.
Over the course of the two months, over 660 assessments were conducted, with about 90% of children screened being referred to one or more service.
Screening and early identification of developmental concerns is only the first step, however without it, a child may never receive the vital care required to ensure they are able to reach their full potential.
The high referral rates consistently seen across our community visits, illustrates the importance of continuing to advocate for better access to life changing services in our country communities.
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