Students at Eastside Elementary got a check-up last week. Sight Savers America’s KidCheck Plus program, an award-winning children’s free health screening program in Alabama, conducted free head to toe health screenings for more than 140 kindergarteners through fifth graders at Eastside on Wednesday.
KidCheck partnered with Southern Union State Community College’s nursing students to administer the health screening, which included examinations of height and weight with BMI, vital signs, chest and abdomen, ears, eyes, nose, throat, skin, musculoskeletal system, vision, hearing and dental. Thanks to a grant from the Verizon Foundation, the program uses wireless technology, and at the end of the screening, a Parent Report Form is generated for each child. The report shows each test performed and any problems discovered. They are sent home to parents and kept on file at the school.
The KidCheck program was created in 2008 by then Governor Bob Riley’s Alabama Rural Action Commission. In 2011, KidCheck was moved from the state government to Sight Savers America, an Alabama-based nonprofit, with the full support of Governor Robert Bentley’s Administration including the Governor’s Alabama Rural Development Office and the Alabama Department of Education. KidCheck helps to build partnerships between interested school systems and college nursing schools. College nursing students administer KidCheck, under faculty supervision, and receive practical experience and valuable clinical hours.
KidCheck Plus COO Chad Nichols said that over 100 screening events in Alabama take place each year and he hopes that number will continue to grow. He said that on average approximately 30,000 children receive free screenings each year.