The Healthy Kids Bus Stop recently visited Parkes Shire, offering free developmental screening and health check-ups to 87 local children aged from two to six in a friendly ‘one stop shop’ setting with access to a variety of health disciplines and professionals.
Aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of children through the early detection of lifestyle risk factors, delayed development and/or illness, this award-winning program was delivered through a collaborative partnership between Royal Far West and Project Sprouts, in partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities and supported by Neighbourhood Central, ARTC Inland Rail, CMOC Northparkes, and Parkes Shire Council,
Parkes East Public School, Trundle Children’s Centre and Peak Hill Preschool generously hosted the Bus Stop in their towns, and other key partners included local preschools, schools, councils and community service organisations. The program is a collaborative exercise to benefit young children within the community at no cost to their parents/carers.
Over the five days, 243 screeners in child health checks, hearing, oral health, speech and language development and fine and gross motor skill development were carried out on the children, with 85 of the 87 children requiring referrals in one or more areas, including 57 for dental, 40 for Occupational Therapy, 32 for Speech Therapy and 22 for hearing.
One of the parents at the Bus Stop said, “Awesome program. So grateful they come to Parkes to make it easier for country kids to receive services”.
Royal Far West Community Programs Manager John Reid highlights the importance of parents following up all the professional referrals.
John said, “Identifying children’s developmental issues before they start school is critical to their life trajectory, and this program will help identify children who will benefit from extra support and early intervention to maximise their opportunities at school.
“Royal Far West enjoys the opportunity to support the great work of the Local Health District, as well as the preschools, schools and community service organisations. It is a truly integrated program and the whole of community’s commitment ensured the success of this event.”
Take a look where our Healthy Kids Bus Stop is heading next!