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Health and dental check-ups needed for school

SAN DIEGO – Many parents may not know that school supplies and a cute backpack are not the only things their child needs to start school. The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency would like to remind parents of kindergartners and first-graders to complete necessary health and dental check-ups before school begins this fall.

California law requires all children entering first grade to have a health check-up. Even if a child is not sick, a medical check-up allows the doctor to find and treat many health problems before they become serious and affect a child’s ability to succeed in school. Check-ups are also an opportunity for parents to ask questions about their child’s health.

California law also requires children entering public school for the first time at kindergarten or first grade to have an oral health assessment or “dental check-up.” National statistics show that 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental disease. Dental problems are painful and can affect a child’s ability to concentrate. Most importantly, dental diseases are entirely preventable. Dental check-ups provide an opportunity for preventive care such as fluoride varnish, sealants and early detection of dental disease.

“Health check-ups and dental exams are integral to a child’s success in school and children need regular and ongoing preventive care throughout their childhood,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., San Diego County Public Health Officer.

Parents can get both the health examination form and the oral health assessment form at their child’s school. Families unable to afford medical and dental check-ups may be eligible for exams at no cost by calling the San Diego County, Maternal, Child and Family Health Services at (800) 675-2229.

To learn more about school entry medical and dental requirements, visit or call (619) 692-8808.


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