Every parent wants a happy, healthy family. One effective way to keep your children healthy is through routine hearing and vision screenings and by making sure they are up-to-date on all of their immunizations.
Early identification of hearing or vision problems will help children develop, grow and learn, says Ashley Mascagni, Certified Health Education Specialist and Hearing and Vision Program Manager with the Macomb County Health Department.
In addition, immunizations protect individuals and the community from vaccine-preventable illnesses and diseases, according to Cheryl Woods, who is a Registered Nurse and Division Director for Macomb County Health Department’s Family Health Services.
And, if your child is entering kindergarten, they must have their hearing and vision tested before the first day of school, according to the Michigan Public Health Code. In Michigan, there are several vaccines required for school entry, too. Learn more about the specific immunization requirements through the Macomb County Health Department.
The Macomb County Health Department makes it easy for parents to take care of all of this before the first day of school through hearing and vision screenings and an immunization program.
The Immunization Program is ongoing, but the Hearing and Vision program is available through May 2023, so don’t wait. Call the Hearing and Vision program at 586-412-5945 for limited appointments that will be available beginning mid-August 2023. You can also get screenings for your child from eye doctors and ear doctors.
Here’s what you need to know about each program:
“Immunizations can save your child’s life,” says Woods. “Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children have been eliminated completely, and others are close to extinction — primarily due to safe and effective vaccines.” Vaccinating your children protects them and your family and prevents the spread of diseases to friends and loved ones.
- Immunization Clinics are located in Mount Clemens and Warren, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed between noon and 1 p.m.). Evening hours are offered in Mount Clemens on Wednesdays and in Warren on Thursdays.
- Macomb County Health Department Immunization Clinics provide vaccinations to all age groups, as recommended by CDC immunization practices.
- Some commercial insurance can be billed. Macomb County Health Department also participates in a federally funded Vaccines for Children program to provide vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay.
- Appointments are preferred! Call the Mount Clemens location at 586-469-5372 or the Warren location at 586-465-8537.
- Learn more at the Immunization Clinic website.
Hearing and Vision Screening services
If your child is headed to kindergarten, make sure they’ve had a hearing and vision screening.
“Most children who attend preschool, daycare or Head Start get their hearing and vision screened at their school or center when technicians come to their site,” says Mascagni. “If the preschool center is unable to schedule a screening with the Hearing and Vision Program, the child does not attend a preschool program, or if the child was absent on the day of screening the parent or guardian can schedule an appointment through the Hearing and Vision Program office.”
- The Hearing and Vision Program provides free hearing and vision screenings, referrals and follow-ups for children in preschool through high school, ages 3-18 years.
- For kindergarten enrollment for the 2023-24 school year, hearing and vision screenings must have been performed after September 2022.
- Hearing screenings may identify some level of hearing loss. About 5% of all children screened require a medical referral to an ear, nose and throat physician for diagnosis.
- Of children screened annually, 10-15% who undergo the Michigan Vision Screening Test Battery are found to need eye care. Only a licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist can diagnose visual conditions.
- It’s important to know that while the Hearing and Vision Program provides comprehensive screenings, it doesn’t perform testing. Children who need testing are referred to a medical professional.
- Appointments are required! Call 586-412-5945 to schedule. Dates, times and locations vary, and staff can help you find the right location and time for your child.
- Learn more at the Hearing and Vision Program website.
Learn more about the many benefits of living in Macomb County. Visit Make Macomb Your Home.