SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Local health departments want to help parents beat the back to school rush by offering no-cost vision, hearing, dental and nutrition screenings.
Students will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis for what would normally cost $30. Immunization services will also be available at regular cost.
Students attending a Georgia school for the first time — no matter what grade level — must complete those screenings.
Erica Ruelas, a Savannah mother enrolling her children for the first time in the Peach State, says the no-cost screening day in Chatham County does a lot more than save her $120 for her four kids.
“Now I won’t have to go to separate appointments. I can get everything done at once,” she said. “There won’t be any sort of breaks in the school year where, you know, there’s missing where they’re missing immunizations that I didn’t have taken care of, so it’s, it’s a really good thing.”
“First time” means never enrolled in a Georgia school before at any time in their lives. In addition, children born on or after January 1, 2002, who are attending seventh grade and new entrants into Georgia schools in grades 8 through 12 must have received one dose of Tdap vaccine and one dose of meningococcal vaccine.
The HPV vaccine is also recommended for both girls and boys ages 11–12 to protect against cancers and other diseases caused by human papillomavirus.
“We very strongly recommend that children receive all required vaccines,” said Chatham County’s Nurse Manager, Tammi Brown, RN, adding, “There’s a lot of misinformation out there about some issues that vaccines can cause. But studies have shown that they’re safe, they’re effective and they’re the only way to prevent certain diseases.”
Immunizations are not free, even on the no-cost day, but they are reduced-cost for low-income families, who pay a small administration fee.
Check out the list of remaining no-cost screenings at Coastal Empire health departments:
Liberty County: July 18, July 25, August 1, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The Liberty County Health Department will provide 3 clinics that offer vision, hearing, dental, and nutrition screenings. Students will be seen on a first come, first served basis, and immunizations will be available at regular cost. Where: Liberty County Health Department, 1113 E. Oglethorpe Hwy
Long County: July 25, July 30, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 – 5 p.m.
The Long County Health Department will provide vision, hearing, dental and nutrition screenings at no cost. Students will be seen on a first come, first served basis, and immunizations will be available at regular cost. Parents can schedule an appointment, but it is not mandatory. Where: Long County Health Department, 584 N. Macon Street in Ludowici.
McIntosh County: July 18, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The McIntosh County Health Department will provide vision, hearing, dental and nutrition screenings at no cost. Students will be seen on a first come, first served basis, and immunizations will be available at regular cost. Where: McIntosh County Health Department, 1335 GA Hwy. 57 in Townsend
The health screens are available at regular cost, $30 dollars, year-round.