Healthy Start Bright Futures
At Health Choice Utah our goal is to keep you and your children healthy. We believe that a healthy start in life will allow them to have a bright future! The Healthy Start, Bright Futures children’s campaign focuses on six pillars for a healthy life.
Regular check-ups are the best way to keep your child healthy and also treat any problems or potential problems found during a routine check-up.
To help you with making sure your child gets an annual check-up, Health Choice Utah offers a special program for babies, children and youth up to the age of 21. In this program, your child may receive check-ups, covered health care services and dental services at no cost to you. In addition, if your child needs to see a specialist, Health Choice Utah will cover that service as long as you receive a referral from your provider.
Babies should be brought in to be examined by their physician at 2 weeks, and at 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 and 24 months. Children, teens and young adults between 3-20 years of age should visit their physician once a year. Many important items that will be addressed include:
- Checking normal height, weight, and head growth
- Assisting mothers with breast feeding and other feeding/nutrition concerns
- Checking for proper vision, speech, and hearing development
- Checking the teeth and making needed dental referrals
- Checking blood count, lead level, and possibly TB screening
Immunizations (vaccines) are safe and effective for preventing diseases that were previously disabling or fatal. Health Choice Utah covers administration of all routine immunizations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. The overwhelming benefit of immunizations outweighs rare and mild side effects. Many of these immunizations are combined to reduce discomfort. They boost the immune system, so child will be protected against:
- Diphtheria (a severe respiratory illness)
- Tetanus (lockjaw)
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Influenza A
- Hepatitis A and B
- Varicella (chicken pox)
- Pneumonia (several types)
Get an early start on keeping your child’s teeth healthy. Most babies will get their first tooth between the ages of 4 – 7 months. Try these healthy habits to make sure your baby has a bright smile:
- Start cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they come in. (use a soft moist washcloth or soft toothbrush)
- Teach your child to brush 2 times a day.
- Protect your child’s teeth with fluoride.
- Give your child healthy, low-sugar food and drinks.
- Take your child to the dentist every year regular checkups.
Healthy habits can help to prevent tooth decay, which affects nearly 50% of babies today.
Make sure your child gets enough calcium, including from dark green vegetables.
Offer your kids only water to drink between meals.
Don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle.
You should take your child to the dentist by the time they turn one.
Health Choice Utah does not cover dental services, but the State of Utah Medicaid program covers dental care for pregnant women and Medicaid members who qualify for Child Health Evaluation and Care (CHEC). See the UDOH Medicaid Member Guide or call the general Medicaid information line. You may also contact Health Choice Utah Member Services. We may be able to find help for you, such as low cost dental clinics in your area.
The Medicaid dental plans are MCNA Dental and Premier Access Dental. Both dental plans offer and pay for the same services. The plans may have different dentists to see for dental care. You must see a dentist that accepts your dental plan. Call your dental plan or go to their website to find a dentist in your area.
Utah Medicaid’s Dental Plans:
MCNA Dental: 1-844-904-6262
Premier Access Dental: 1-877-541-5415
A proper education puts your child on the right path to reach their full potential in life. Unfortunately, some children don’t get a right education for different reasons. One of the key steps for your child to get a good educations is by having good attendance.
Here are a few facts about school attendance:
- Being absent in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year.
- 1 in 10 kindergarten and first grade students are chronically absent.
- By 6th grade, chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.
- Research shows that missing 10% of school (roughly 18 days) negatively affects a child’s performance in school.
Make sure your child only misses school days when it is absolutely necessary. Having good attendance will not only ensure they don’t miss any important lessons, but will also set them up for a good future!
Remember to remind your child to get out and exercise. It’s recommended that children and teens get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day. The best way to keep your child active is to make activities fun. You can do this by encouraging your child to:
- Go swimming
- Playing tag with friends
Your attitude and behavior toward exercise will influence your child to do the same. As a parent, you should make a physical activity a daily routine for the whole family. Going out to play instead of watching T.V after dinner is a good example.
TIP FOR KIDS: If you are not participating in sports already, ask your parents if you can join a local league. You can also ask your parents to play your favorite sport with you during their free time.
Help your child develop positive eating habits by looking for ways to make meal time healthier. There are small things that can be done to encourage healthy eating. Parents can start by:
- Providing plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole-grain products.
- Including low-fat or non-fat milk/dairy products
- Encouraging your family to limit sugar-sweetened beverages in exchange for water.
- Serving smaller portions.
- Limiting sugar and saturated fat intake.
Kids that are not active are more likely to being inactive as adults. This can lead to several issues including:
- Weight issues
- High blood-pressure
- Weak muscles and bones