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More than 1,200 children expected to get free checkup at Sci-Port in Shreveport

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More than 1,200 children will receive a free back-to-school checkup in July through a health fair put on by Christus Health Shreveport-Bossier.

Elementary through high school students will get a blood pressure check, immunization check, body mass index or BMI calculation, dental and vision screenings. Yolanda Green, a registered nurse with Christus School-Based Health, says in its sixth year the event gets bigger every time.

A total of 25 social service agencies will participate in the health fair that will be staged at Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center in Shreveport. Green says this checkup is a way to catch health issues early.

“Each year, we hear a mom say, oh, I didn’t know we had those cavities? We can catch things before they actually get to where they’re causing greater problems for children,” Green said, who will carry out the BMI at the health fair and is concerned about surging childhood obesity rates.

The goal is for children to have access to some type of health care giving them a better chance at starting the school year ready to learn. Green says free backpacks and school supplies are helpful, but a child must be in good health in order to achieve.

She thinks this health fair will be a big draw since families will be able to get free admission to Sci-Port for the day.

“I think that in 2015 we definitely have to be more creative in how we bring medicine to our community. I think it’s definitely a creative way to bring health care to children and their families, Green said.

Phone registration is required this week to participate in the back-to-school healthy checkup set for Friday, July 31. The registration line is open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., daily through July 17. The number is 318-681-6100.

Children must visit four of the 25 social service agencies present at the fair and be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Each child who completes the checkup will receive a backpack with school supplies.

There is no insurance request or income threshold. Green says the event is paid for through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.