OPINION

Health and Wellness: Make sure to catch up on children’s screenings

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Health Department
Special to Dallas County News and Perry Chief

Medicaid insurance covers regular health screenings (or exams) for children. For more than 50 years, an important component of children’s health insurance has been early and periodic screening, diagnosis and treatment. 

The regular EPSDT screenings include physical, vision, hearing and developmental and behavioral health. Take a look at iowaepsdt.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2017-EPSDT-Periodicity-Schedule-FINAL-120117.pdf for a complete schedule of which check-up your child gets at which age. 

These screenings are definitely not just for kids on Medicaid. Whether your child is covered by your employee insurance or your family is not insured at all, everyone under age 21 needs to have these exams. A great approach to the screenings is having a medical home, or primary physician for your children. Having all their records in the same place simplifies remembering when the next screening is due. 

As mentioned above, the screenings aren’t limited to immunizations and height and weight charts. Mental health care begins in childhood. The related screenings include those for autism, adolescent depression and alcohol and drug use. The earlier problems are identified, the sooner your child can receive appropriate help. 

If your child does not have health insurance, contact Dallas County Health Navigation for affordable options at 515-993-3750 or phn@dallascountyiowa.gov.