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Our View: Back-to-school fair earns A+ for boosting kids’ health

August 3, 2018

How did the first day of school sneak up so quickly? For students in the Lake Havasu Unified School District, Day One begins bright and early Monday morning.

As parents can attest, getting kids ready for school has so many moving parts. The to-do list includes earlier bedtimes and a shopping trip to gather classroom supplies, backpacks and sneakers.

There’s also the health check. Students in the Lake Havasu Unified School District must have proof of all required immunizations. If doctor visits weren’t all accomplished, the Back to School Health Fair Saturday can meet a lot of needs. Immunizations, exams and screenings are available at no-to-low cost for students.

The Havasu Community Health Foundation and the Rotary Clubs of Havasu join forces to present the fair that focuses on children’s health. Originally called Havasu Stick’em, the event is at the Aquatic Center, 8 a.m.-noon. Kids ages 0-18 have access to 11 different immunizations, ranging from polio to MMR to hepatitis.

The importance of vaccinations can’t be stressed enough. The immunizations represent the biggest advances in public health — more than all antibiotics combined. Protecting Havasu’s vulnerable young ones from vaccine-preventable diseases is a significant responsibility.

The vaccines are administered by the Mohave County Health Department.

Though vaccines are free, parents or guardians must be present and provide the child’s immunization record and an insurance card, state-issued or otherwise.

Vouchers for free school sports physicals will be given to the first 100 kids, redeemable at Havasu Regional Urgent Care. The first 100 youth requesting it will receive a bike safety helmet. Vision and diabetes screenings are available.

Several booths will offer carnival-type games and activities to entertain the younger set. The fun stuff is a great distraction for kids dreading the momentary pain of getting an immunization.

Bring swimsuits and an appetite. Immediately after the fair, Havasu Healthy Striders is hosting a free family swim, noon- 4 p.m. The Elks Lodge is providing hot dogs for the party. Many thanks to the groups that came together to stage the health fair for youngsters. Knowing that healthy kids are better prepared to learn, these organizations made it a priority to help families boost their children’s health in every way possible.

— Today’s News-Herald

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