Albertville students receive free health screenings

Free health screenings, Snead State nursing students Zach Moses, left, and Leigh Hargrove take first-grader Keigan Bryan's vital signs on Oct. 5 at Albertville Primary School.

More than 900 first- and second- graders at Albertville Primary School recently participated in the Sight Savers America KidCheck Program and comprehensive health screenings.

Screenings continue Tuesday and Wednesday at Albertville Elementary School, and Oct. 18-19 at Evans Elementary School.

The school-based health screening program provides head-to-toe health screenings for school children.

With parents’ permission, the screening included checking the students height, weight, BMI, vitals, vision, hearing, dental, nose, throat, chest and abdomen.

More than 40 nursing students from Snead State Community College and Jacksonville State University administered the free screenings.

Albertville Primary School Principal Vanessa Fowler believes the free health screenings for students are essential to their health and proper growth.

“Having the opportunity to give the students free screenings here at the school helps us catch health problems faster,” Fowler said. “This is a service to our children that they all need. If we can teach them at a young age to be healthy, it’s something that can stick with them. Right now, our focus is on being healthy and this also ties into our wellness program we are trying to get kicked off.”

Cindy Starkey, lead nurse for the Albertville City Schools, says the free health screenings will make a stop at every Albertville school except the high school.

“The health screenings are done yearly at our schools, but this is the first year we’ve been able to add the middle school,” Starkey said. “We were able to offer the screenings to the middle school this year because of the extra we’re getting from nursing students from Snead State and Jacksonville. This is a really great program to be a part of and it does help students understand about the wellness program.”

Starkey said the most common health problem they find among students is with their vision.

“Sometimes the parents don’t even know the student has vision problems. Problems with vision can cause a student to not be able to focus on work and could lead to headaches,” Starkey continued. “We are able to look at the students eyes here first.

“If we think they might need a full eye exam, we can get them a referral for an exam and possible eyeglasses. Our students are a part of this program because of the fact that healthy students make healthy learners.”

For more information about the Sight Savers America KidCheck Plus Program visit the website atwww.sightsaversamerica.org.