BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - With school mostly back into the swing of things here on the Coast, a number of health fairs have come and gone, but there was one more Saturday that was a little different than those that have happened leading up to the school year. The 4th annual Excel by 5 Health and Safety Fair was held at the Donal Snyder Community Center in Biloxi.
The event had all the ingredients for a typical health fair, except one difference.
"This one's strictly focused on birth to five," said Emily Burke.
Burke is the Health and Safety Chair, and she puts this event together as part of a requirement to recertify Excel by 5, which happens every three years. The fair gives parents a chance to get an update on their child's wellness before they reach school age.
"If there's anything, health-wise, they're missing with their child. Hopefully identify those," said Burke.
Several different organizations come together to offer different health stations, like height and weight, autism screening, hearing tests and vision, which is Dr. William Malone's territory.
"There needs to be someone to intervene and make sure these children can see before they get to school," said Malone.
He and the other stations work together to create a health report card.
"It will tell the parents whether they pass or fail, so it will be a good thing to get the kids started," said Malone.
Darlene Husman is hoping the results will help guide her in the right direction when it comes to her family's health.
"I have three grandsons, and I brought them with me today so I could find out, especially one of them, he has problems with speech and stuff, so I can find out if he needs anymore speech therapy or anything like that," said Husman.
That's the kind of guidance that Husman sees as an invaluable resource.
"I think it's great. They need to do more of them," said Husman.
Excel by 5 partnered with the Lions Club, Magnolia Health, Biloxi Regional Medical Center and the Health Department to make the free event happen.