Students Check Health Before Heading Back To School - - The News for South Mississippi

Students Check Health Before Heading Back To School

You could get your height and weight checked, document your fingerprints, or slip in a little cardio exercising.

This was all part of this year's Children's Health Fair, taking care of what is sometimes overlooked as students and parents prepare for yet another school year.

"I got my teeth checked, I got scanned, I got my eyes checked, and I got my weight and my height," says 8-year-old Cheyenne Hockenhull.

"They can get medical screenings of vision, the pediatricians are here, even this year we have a chiropractor that does a spinal check, they do the dental. And the children can do IDs, identification, all of the different government agencies where they can find out information and just get them ready for school. That's the whole purpose of this," says Tammy Howell of the Edgewater Rotary Club.

There were 25 exhibits filled with information which can help students not only this upcoming year, but in years to come.

But while doctors hope students keep up with physical checkups, they urge parents to pay attention to mental health care, which pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Grayson says is a bigger issue now in post-Katrina South Mississippi.

"A lot of nightmares, a lot of fears, separation anxiety as far as not wanting to be separated from their families, depression, increased in seeing suicidal kids who are making plans to harm themselves. I've definitely seen that," says Dr. Grayson.

She says parents should reassure their children that they are protected and that storms will come and go.

So, mental health as well as physical health are important as children prepare to start the year off right.

That's unless they don't want to kick off the year at all.

"So, you're not ready for school? No. But at least you're gonna be healthy. Yes," says Hockenhull.

The Edgewater Rotary Club holds the Children's Health Fair every year on the Saturday before Biloxi School District students head back to school.

By Karla Redditte

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