Parents are encouraged to bring their three- and four-year-old children to the annual Milestones Preschool Wellness Fair.
Held at the Keystone Centre from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, the event offers free professional screenings in five key developmental areas: speech and language, vision, development, hearing and dental.
“It’s meant to be helpful, so that the children have a better chance when they do start school,” said spokesperson Pat Bowslaugh. “That those lines of communication and those abilities are there, so they can see, they can hear, they can speak properly, that they’re development is well on the way in terms of physical, emotional and cognitive.”
In addition to the different screening areas, there will be informational displays, an activity centre, snacks, nutritional displays and pre-kindergarten immunizations.
“Super Thrifty Drugs puts up a huge table where they hand out brochures on everything from head lice, to proper sleep, etc.,” Bowslaugh said.
Families are provided with information so they can connect with the appropriate professional to receive follow-up services for their child if required.
“The good part is that children who are identified as having needs automatically are referred ... so that the intervention is there and solid,” Bowslaugh said.
Each year approximately 300 children are screened. Since the wellness fair began 12 years ago, a total of 3,400 children have been screened.
The fair is organized by a community-based partnership committee, consisting of representatives from the Brandon RHA, Brandon School Division, Department of Family Services and Housing, Child and Family Services of Western Manitoba, Brandon Friendship Centre, Super Thrifty Drugs and community volunteers.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition April 14, 2012