Back to school means doctor visit for many students

August 16, 2011 3:20:23 PM PDT
It's the big push to make sure children are healthy as they head back to school.

Many Chicago school students underwent the physicals, immunizations and more required to attend school.

More back-to-school health fairs are coming in the rush to get children ready for the start of classes.

Before children start school they must have a clear bill of health. Chicago public school students must provide proof of required immunizations and health exams before October 15 or they will be turned away. Officials say healthy children have better attendance and perform better in class.

Four-year-old Adrian Munoz got his back to school physical at Alivio Medical Center. Dr. Maria Castillo, a pediatrician at Alivio, told Adrian's mother Favila what the child will need before the first day of school.

Children's Hospital University of Illinois hosted a free back-to-school health fair Tuesday, offering school physicals, vision screenings, dental screenings, and health counseling on nutrition, diabetes risk, asthma and sickle cell disease. They had specialists talk with children and parents.

Some children got fitted with hearing aids Tuesday.

"Our mission is to get health care to the underserved children of Chicago. They need a complete physical. This is available to all children no one will be turned away. Children in Illinois have a right to health care," said Dr. Usha Raj.

ABC7 followed 4-year-old Jayvnon Flowers as he went through all of his tests. Were there any surprises?

"Two cavities," said mother Qiana Flowers. "He got everything he needed."

Mrs. Flowers was given information about the tests performed on her son to take to school.

Amy Miner brought her daughters Khaliya and Samayya for their exams. They are both cheerleaders. This was her first time at the hospital. Miner says she will be back.

"I would absolutely find a pediatrician in the UIC network. I was very impressed," said Miner.

Parents were asked to bring their child's immunization records to the health fair. Children received goody bags and parents received health education materials and access to community resources.

Martha Navarrete brought her 3-year-olds Antonio and Nadia.

"I didn't know that they needed eye exams that little, so that was something new," said Navarrete.

As the doctor mentioned, every child can come back and be assigned a pediatrician. No child will be turned away.

New patients can call (866) 600-CARE. Current patients can call (312) 996-7416 to make an appointment at Children's Hospital University of Illinois.

The next UIC health fair will be in Chicago's Pilsen community.

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