The connection between public health and school is clear – healthy kids learn better, and kids who achieve in and are connected to their school community have better health over their lives.
From our littlest ones in daycare, to youth in elementary and high school, to older teens and young adults in college and university, all educational settings are integral partners in our work to support the health and well-being of future generations.
Our biggest goal is to enable all education settings to be places where health happens in a positive way. This means that they have the capacity and motivation to promote health of their students, families and staff and they act as partners with the community in building health.
In addition to working on shared community projects for health, Lambton Public Health has a number of programs that work directly in schools and education settings to protect and promote health.
Our immunization program conducts routine immunizations in school settings for vaccines that protect against three diseases – meningitis, cervical cancer, and hepatitis. Vaccines are offered to all eligible students in Grade 7 and Grade 8. Schools are also partners in the enforcement of the Immunization of School Pupils Act, which ensures that public health has up to date immunization records for all of our students.
Our dental screening program screens school children in JK, SK, Grade 2 and Grade 7 for dental health. When we identify a child who has dental care needs, we will provide information and resources to parents and guardians to support early treatment and care. This screening is not intended to replace routine visits to a dental health professional.
Lambton Public Health provides annual vision screening for children in Senior Kindergarten (SK) for early detection of eye conditions or issues that could affect your child’s ability to see and learn at school. The screening consists of 3 simple tests: a letter chart to check visual acuities (HVOT), looking at shapes with 3D glasses to check how the eyes work together (Randot), and a photo taken with an autorefractor to measure the eyes. This screening is not intended to replace comprehensive eye exams from an optometrist. See your health-care provider if you think your child may have vision problems or find an eye doctor in your community. Annual visits to your optometrist are covered by OHIP for anyone 19 years old and younger.
For more information, visit: Healthy Eyes, Ears & Teeth for Kids
Our staff are trained to provide health education in schools on a variety of topics, and schools will frequently ask us to come and deliver sessions on important or emerging health topics. We also work to build capacity of school boards, schools and individual educators to deliver teaching informed by the most current understanding of health topics.
Our environmental health program routinely inspects food preparation areas in schools and daycares, and we receive regular reports of water quality in schools to help reduce the risk of food and water-borne disease. We will also conduct inspections of infection control and prevention practices as needs arise. We also complete mandatory inspections for compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 and work closely with schools to implement initiatives (strategies within the school and assist with policy development) so they are compliant.
Student Nutrition Program
Lambton Public Health partners with the Victoria Order of Nurses to deliver the Ontario Student Nutrition Program in Lambton with participating schools and volunteers to provide healthy meals and snacks every school day for all students.
The programs improve student attendance, enhance the learning experience, and contribute to an overall healthy school environment.
If you or your organization would like to be involved please visit: https://osnp.ca/our-communities/sarnia-lambton/.
For more information or questions about our work with schools in Lambton County, contact Lambton Public Health.