The State Government is providing health checks for all young children so that no child in Tasmania misses out, said the Minister for Children, Michelle O’Byrne.
Ms O’Byrne urged parents of children five years old and under to ensure their child gets the right free health check.
“If your child is around kindergarten age they can get a free and comprehensive Healthy Kids Check at the Child Health and Parenting Service (CHaPS) local child health centres,” Ms O’Byrne said.
“The Healthy Kids Check is also available through GPs and you should talk to them to find out if there is any gap payment required.
“A full assessment at this age means any health issues can be addressed before the child starts school.
“If your child is five years old and has not yet had a Healthy Kids Check it will be even more important that they have a Prep screen when they start school this year, involving vision and hearing tests.
“CHaPS is already working with the Education Department and local schools to commence these Prep screens early in the new school year and is also actively following up all Year One students who did not have a Prep screen last year.
“Schools will let parents know when these Prep screens – conducted by CHaPS – are due so that parents can ensure consent forms are completed and returned.”
From next year all children from the age of three-and-a-half to five will able to have a Healthy Kids Check. Prep screens are available this year as a temporary measure while the new system comes in.
“We are moving to the comprehensive Healthy Kids Checks because they are conducted before a child starts school,” Ms O’Byrne said.
“However this does require parents to make a booking to get the Healthy Kids Check either at the local child health centres or through their GP.
“It is important that every child starts school in the best physical and mental health, ready to make the most of the stimulating and challenging school environment.”
Parents who want to know more about the Healthy Kids Check or Prep screen should call the CHaPS parent line on 1300 808 178.