The 20th Annual Kids 1st Health Fair Aug. 1 ensured that lots of Lake County kids started school as scheduled this week. Volunteers from across the health professions provided free exams and immunizations — as well as school supplies — needed for access to the new school year.
In fact, more than 1,000 Lake County children received 839 immunizations, 590 physicals, 475 dental exams, 121 lead and hemoglobin tests, and 53 TB tests. There was also nutritional assessments and counseling for 225 children, and 150 care assessments for children’s feet. Additionally, backpacks filled with school supplies were fitted for more than 1,000 children and almost 7,000 age-appropriate books were provided to children who attended the Fair.
Several Chicago Dental Society members and their teams were on hand to help out.
On one day every year for the past two decades, this summer event has provided a wide variety of free services, from immunizations to dental screenings, with an estimated overall value of approximately $1.6 million to 30,000 Lake County children. It is organized annually by the Lake County Health Department, Rosalind Franklin University, and United Way of Lake County.
The Fair is free for Lake County families who meet specific income guidelines, and offers considerable savings for eligible families. For one child at the full-pay level, school supplies combined with the cost of a physical, dental exam, and two vaccinations at the Lake County Health Department would normally cost $228.
“I am very pleased the Fair's sponsors and volunteers continue to make the health services available to students. Without those services, many students would not be prepared to enter school,” said Roycealee Wood, Lake County Regional Superintendent of Schools, in a prepared release.
“We know that if these services aren't offered, many children will be turned away on the first day of school and we don't want that to happen. Our goal is to have all children ready to learn from day one of the school year,” added Kristi Long, President and CEO of United Way of Lake County.