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Health and Dental Checkups Needed for School

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Doctor examining child


Did you know that school supplies are not all a child needs to start school?  Make sure your children have the necessary health checkups to start school, San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency officials reminded parents today.

California law requires all children entering first grade to have a health checkup.  Checkups, even when a child is not sick, allow the doctor to find and treat many health problems before they become serious and affect a child’s ability to succeed in school.  Checkups are also an opportunity for parents to ask questions about their child’s health. 

“Checkups help to prevent medical and dental problems and ensure that children don’t miss school; they help ensure children are able to do their best and succeed.” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., San Diego County Public Health Officer.

California law also requires children entering public school for the first time at kindergarten or first grade to have an oral health assessment or “dental checkup”. Nationally, 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental disease.  Dental problems are painful and can affect a child’s ability to concentrate. Most importantly, dental diseases are preventable. Dental checkups provide an opportunity for preventive care such as fluoride varnish and sealants and early detection of dental disease.

“Health checkups and dental exams are integral to a child’s success in school and children need regular and ongoing preventive care throughout their childhood,” added Wooten.

Parents can get both the health examination form and the oral health assessment form at their child’s school.  Families unable to find or afford medical and dental checkups may be eligible for exams at no cost by calling the San Diego County, Maternal, Child and Family Health Services at 800-675-2229.

To learn more about school entry medical and dental requirements, visit or call (619) 692-8808.

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