Back to school checklist: health care on parents' agenda

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Most schools in the Ozarks will start next week. Local health care providers offered free events Saturday to make sure kids are healthy and safe before going back to school.

With a busy summer coming to an end, some parents are frantically getting their kids ready for the new school year, but that doesn't just mean school supplies. Kids need vaccines, check-ups and physicals, too.

Jordan Valley Health held a back-to-school event Saturday morning to give kids some last-minute health screenings and parents some peace of mind.

"Families are busy doing other things so we try to provide a time that they can come in right before school starts and get those last-minute things taken care of," said Clint Smart with Jordan Valley Health.

Kathleen Lynn took three of her kids to the event.

"Well we're a low-income family and so to be able to come and get their medical needs taken care of, and if they need physicals or shots and have somewhere they can go and get that done last-minute is an awesome thing," she said.

CoxHealth had a car seat safety check in Ozark and Mercy held its first ever "kids health rally." It started as a car seat safety check, but turned into a full-blown resource fair with free bike helmets, bounce houses and information booths.

"We wanted to just get kids and their families ready for back to school, get them excited about their health and safety and give them the tools they need to do that," said Holly Menzie, a nurse manager for Mercy Kids.

Joe Morgan took his three kids to the rally for them to learn about healthy habits.

"It's good to help get them educated at a young age so they eat healthy and do healthy things," he said.

Being healthy also means staying safe.

"We want them to be healthy and safe and make good choices. If you can get your kid to do that, you've been a good parent," Morgan said.

Jordan Valley Health's back-to-school health screening event will continue on Monday, August 12 from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at its main clinic in Springfield. Mercy plans to have a kids health rally for years to come.