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Understanding children’s health and development is critical, and with this in mind, some local families have already booked up for the Healthy Kids Bus Stop free health checks at Muswellbrook.

To be hosted at Stan Thiess Community Centre in Hill Street (Victoria Park), Muswellbrook from 27 to 29 June, the Bus Stop program will see more than 60 children aged between 3-5 years from across the region.

To access this award-winning program, parents and carers need to register online at https://www.royalfarwest.org.au/healthy-kids-bus-stop, or call John Reid or Nik Dawson 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 they are assessed as requiring along the way, and when all required stations have been completed, the children are given a Healthy Kids Bus Stop bag containing items to promote healthy habits as well as fun items.

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.

The Healthy Kids Bus Stop is being brought to Muswellbrook by Royal Far West through a partnership with the Hunter New England Local Health District, Muswellbrook Shire Council and Ronald McDonald House Charities, with funding support from Campbell Edwards Trust.

“The Health Kids Bus Stop initiative is a positive for our community as it aims to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people who live in rural and remote communities. Early screening and intervention opportunities for bush kids aren’t as readily available as they are for children living in the city. I encourage local families to jump on board this fantastic program which stops in at Muswellbrook at the end of the month,” Federal Member for Hunter Joel Fitzgibbon said.

Member for Upper Hunter, Michael Johnsen, MP, said “Royal Far West is bringing a vital service to Muswellbrook and it serves us well to ensure our kids obtain the best health advice as close to home as possible. I welcome the Healthy Kids Bus Stop and encourage all parents to take advantage of this wonderful service”.

Muswellbrook Shire Council General Manager, Steve McDonald, welcomed the return of the Bus Stop for a third consecutive year. “The Healthy Kids Bus Stop is an excellent initiative that has benefited our community. I encourage parents and carers to take the opportunity to attend it.”

Pic: Having fun with his eye check

Media contact: Deb Gibbons. Ph: 02 8966 8535, 0413 554 834