3 Health Centre Services That Can Support Your Child's Health
Health centres are focused on providing care and support for families and offer a wide range of services that can improve health outcomes for children. As a parent, you may not be aware of the children's health services available at your health centre, but finding out what's on offer can allow you to access care and support for your child as soon as there are any signs that they would benefit from seeing a healthcare professional. Services vary from centre to centre, but here's an overview of three services commonly offered by health centres.
Child Development Clinics
Child development clinics provide a monitoring service to ensure your child's development is appropriate for their age. These clinics are typically nurse-led and offered at set points in your child's life. Babies are invited to attend more frequently than older children, but child development clinics also provide services for children starting school and transitioning to high school. At these clinics, your child's weight and height will be recorded and they may be offered a hearing and sight test. Babies will have their chests examined to check for irregularities in their hearts and some neurodevelopmental checks will be carried out, such as a reflex test and face tracking. Older children may have their critical thinking and fine motor skills assessed.
Mental Health Support
Mental health problems in children seem to be on the rise, and health centres have responded by expanding their child and adolescent mental health provision. Changes in home life, academic pressure, bullying and learning or neurodevelopmental problems can put your child at risk of developing a mental health condition. Health centres may offer one-on-one or group counselling sessions, support groups or a referral service that links in with community or hospital-based specialist mental health services.
Childhood obesity can put your child at risk of developing chronic health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, and it can impact their self-esteem and willingness or ability to get involved in physical activities. If your child is overweight, contact your health centre for information on the support services they offer. They may offer access to a dietician, weight-check clinics and programs that allow your child to increase their activity levels by taking part in sports at no cost to you.
These are just a few ways health centres can support your child to be as healthy as possible. Contact your health centre to find out what child and family services they offer for patients.
Reach out to a local family health centre for more info.