Pike County Elementary hosts KidCheck

Published 11:01 pm Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pike County Elementary School hosted its fifth annual KidCheck program with about 199 kids participating.

KidCheck, a department of Sight Savers America, is a comprehensive school-based, health screening program that is open to any K-12 school system in Alabama. The screenings are free and include height, weight and body mass measurements; temperature, blood pressure, vision and dental checks; heart and respiratory rates; heart and lung sounds; and ear, nose and throat exams.

“Pike County Elementary School started KidCheck as a pilot program for the Pike County School System five years ago,” said Anita Grant, PCES principal. “For the first two years, pen and paper were used to complete all the data as students moved from station to station. Letters to parents about the findings had to be manually completed by the local school nurses.

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“KidCheck now provides nursing students with computers and printers to document student information.”

Grant said that the use of technology has eliminated the pen and paper method and has been a huge success with analyzing data.

“Letters to parents regarding information on their children are instantly printed and are given to the children at the time of the screenings to take home to their parents,” Grant said. “The Pike County Board of Education fully supports KidCheck and provides all medical equipment and supplies for the program.”

Grant said the KidCheck helps build partnerships between interested school systems and college nursing schools.

“The Child Health Nursing Course students of the Troy University BSN Program administer KidCheck under faculty supervision,” Grant said. “The nursing students receive practical experience and valuable clinical hours. School children receive the health screenings and parents are notified of their results. KidCheck builds partnerships to assist with necessary follow-up care.

“Pike County Elementary School appreciates the collaboration of the Troy University Nursing Program, the KidCheck Program and their coordinators, the Pike County Board of Education and the local school nurses for making the program available to our students.”

Grant said that the KidCheck program not only provides valuable information about the participating students to their parents but it also refers students who may fail the vision screening to Sight Savers.

When needed Sight Savers assists parents in obtaining glasses for their children at no charge.

KidCheck is now an annual service provided to Banks Primary School, Banks Middle School and Goshen and Pike County elementary schools.

KidCheck was created in 2008 by Gov. Bob Riley’s Alabama Rural Action Commission. In 2011, KidCheck was moved from state government to Sight Savers America, an Alabama-based nonprofit organization, with the full support of Gov. Robert Bentley’s administration, including the Governor’s Alabama Rural Development Office and the Alabama Department of Education.

“A total of 25 two- and four-year Alabama college nursing schools have partnered with KidCheck to provide the health screenings.