OGDEN -- For 12 years, thousands of Ogden children have received free health and dental exams thanks to McKay-Dee Hospital and the Junior League of Ogden.
This year, the Children's Health Connection will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday at James Madison Elementary School, 2563 Monroe Blvd. Children will receive complete comprehensive physical examinations, dental examinations, vision and hearing screenings, free prescriptions, vaccinations, toothbrushes, books, socks, underwear and a haircut.
"We are expecting about 2,200 kids this year," said Sally Jones, director of the event. "We are beefing up our adolescent depression screening this year and are providing fluoride for all children eligible."
Gardasil, a vaccine to help protect against cervical cancer, will be offered to age- eligible girls, Jones said. More than 650 volunteers will help with the event.
Chris Dallin, McKay-Dee public relations director, said the services provided to the children not only prepare them for school and increase their quality of life, but in a few cases have saved lives.
In past years, for example, Jones said serious conditions have been caught, including heart conditions, diabetes, orthopedic complications, serious eye problems and critical tooth decay.
"It's not uncommon to find children with over 10 cavities, high blood pressure, medical needs and the need for a toothbrush and haircut," Dallin said. "Not only will the Children's Health Connection determine a health need but volunteers in the community will donate their time and efforts to follow through on the need."
Last year there were 39 cases of high priority conditions, Dallin said and 149 children were found to have diabetes or obesity. Thirty-one children had a hearing problem and 173 had vision problems.
No appointment is necessary. Children will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis.