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VHSA Initiatives

Vermont Head Start promotes good healthCurrent Efforts to Promote Health for Children and Their Families

VHSA is proud of a parent brochure, “Give Their Smiles a Head Start“, which highlights the importance of dental care and what parents can do.

Our data shows that preschool age Head Start children have a dental home.  But it is harder to find one for the infants and toddlers in Early Head Start.  Children should have their first dental exam by one.

The Northeast Delta Dental Foundation partners with the VHSA to help place a Tooth Tutor (a dental hygienist) in every program. The Tooth Tutor works with the family and local dental practices to make sure young child get their annual dental exam and treatments if needed.  The Tooth Tutor also goes into the classroom to teach children about the importance of brushing, flossing and good nutrition.  Head Start and these partners are working together to prevent the unfortunately impact of poor oral health, which include tooth decay, other health problems, trips to the emergency room and absenteeism for both the child and the parents.

Please watch this video for more on the Head Start Tooth Tutor Program:

Tobacco Prevention and Help to Quit Smoking

VHSA is working together to collect data about smoking among the parents with children enrolled in Head Start and Early Head Start.  We partner with the Vermont Department of Health and the Legacy Foundation to educate families about the dangers of tobacco use whether it be in the form of cigarettes, chew, or e-cigarettes. When a mom or dad report they smoke or smoke around their children in a car or in the home, we are there to educate and help with referrals to quit resources.  It is important because about 50% of the parents surveyed in the fall report they smoke cigarettes.

For more information about this VHSA initiative go to Legacy’s report, Head Start Tobacco Cessation: Partnering for Healthier Children and Families and watch this video.

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