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OPINION

Health and Wellness: Well child check-ups

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Public Health
Perry Chief

The Dallas County Health Department is receiving calls from parents wondering if they should proceed with their children’s check-ups and immunizations. The short answer is yes.

Even during a coronavirus pandemic, your child could contract measles, mumps, or other severe and potentially fatal diseases. Fortunately, immunizations are readily available and clinics follow proven schedules to protect your young children and adolescents. (See https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/child-easyread.html)

Even if your child isn’t due for immunizations, an annual well child physical is important to monitor growth and development, and to catch conditions such as a curved spine or poor vision. Be sure to ask for a vision screening, because children who cannot see well tend to perform poorly in school, and often have headaches from eyestrain.

If you skipped your child’s regular dental check-up due to the pandemic, contact your dental office and ask for an appointment. Oral health is part of your child’s overall well-being. A cavity is an infection in her system just the same as an infected wound. Seeing a dentist regularly can avoid painful and costly dental work on severely decayed teeth and gums.

If you don’t have health insurance for your child, contact Dallas County Health Navigation at 515-993-3750 or phn@dallascountyiowa.gov.