Young Family

Children and Young Families

Horizon Public Health promotes healthy families and safe, nurturing environments for children. Child and Family Health Services support young families as they learn about:

  • Healthy Pregnancies
  • Positive Parenting
  • Health and Nutrition
  • Infant and Child Growth and Development
  • Childhood Safety and Injury Prevention
  • Family and Community Resources

Public Health Nurses and Registered Dietitians provide services at the Public Health office, by phone, at community sites, or on home visits with families.



Family Home Visiting

Public Health Nurses visit families at home or in the public health office to assist parents as they create a healthy, nurturing environment for their children. Visits are offered at no cost to the families, are voluntary and are tailored to the individual family’s interests and needs.

Nurses engage mothers and fathers in a variety of discussions about pregnancy health, breastfeeding, infant cares, parenting, family planning, nutrition, child health, growth, development and safety. Public Health Nurses also support families in reaching their goals and help them connect with supportive resources in the community.

We also offer Evidence Based Home Visiting Programs tailored specifically to your needs.

NFP - Supporting Hands Nurse Family Partnership

A voluntary, free maternal and childhood health program, Nurse-Family Partnership gives first-time moms valuable knowledge and support throughout pregnancy and until their babies reach two years of age. Partnering first-time moms with caring nurse home visitors empowers these mothers to confidently create a better life for their children and themselves.

For more information, please visit the Supporting Hands Nurse-Family Partnership website.

Growing Great Kids:

This is a program focused on prenatal and postpartum health, infant/child development and attachment, and life skills to build a strong family and support system.

This program is free and designed for women who are pregnant and/or families with children birth -3 years of age.

A public health nurse will visit with you and your family regularly with activities and materials to make parenting fun and meaningful.
Growing Great Kids brochure

For more information or to arrange a home visit, call 1-800-450-4177

Parents Know Website: http://helpmegrowmn.org

Minnesota Department of Health:
Children with Special Needs: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/cfh/program/cyshn

Healthy Families Brochure

WIC

The WIC Program is a Nutrition and Breastfeeding program that helps eligible pregnant women, new mothers, babies and young children eat well, learn about nutrition, and stay healthy. The WIC Program also provides individualized nutrition education and counseling, vouchers to purchase nutritious foods from local vendors, and referrals to health and other social services.

  • Women- Pregnant, Breastfeeding and Postpartum mothers for 6 months
  • Infants - up to one year of age
  • Children- age one to five

Do you qualify or know someone who would qualify for free supplemental foods, nutrition education and parenting ideas? Then WIC is the place for you. Save on food costs, receive prenatal and breastfeeding support and referrals to other services available in our counties. Many working families are eligible for this service.

As always, WIC applicants may qualify by bringing proof of income when income is at or below these amounts (effective from May 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016):


Household SizeYearly Income
1$32,670
2$44,110
3$55,000
4$66,900
5$78,430
6$89,870
7$101,310
8$112,750
each additional member add+11,4400

Families may also qualify by bringing proof that a family member is enrolled in one or more of the following programs:

  • Medical Assistance (MA)
  • Minnesota Care
  • MFIP
  • Food Stamps
  • Fuel Assistance
  • Headstart
  • Free/Reduced Price School Lunch
  • SSI - participant only

Families with incomes higher than the incomes listed above will still qualify for WIC if a family member is enrolled in Medical Assistance or Minnesota Care. Applicants on TEFRA will still qualify for WIC.

Complete a Minnesota Health Care Programs application today to establish your eligibility! Complete eligibility information is available at MDH


What Consists of Proof of Income?

  • Monetary compensation for services, such as wages, salary, commissions or fees.
  • Net income from farm or self employment (as part of total income on the most recent tax return)
  • Social security benefits
  • Dividends or interest on savings or bonds, income from estates, or net rental income
  • Public assistance or welfare payments, unemployment compensation
  • Government civilian employee or military retirement or pension or veteran’s payments
  • Private pensions or annuities
  • Alimony or child support payments
  • Regular contributions from persons not living in the household
  • Net royalties
  • Other cash income: cash amounts rec’d or withdrawn from any source, including savings, investments, trust accounts and other resources that are readily available to the family.

Remember, you MUST bring proof of eligibility to each WIC appointment. This includes proof of income, residency, and identity.

What Occurs During Your Appointment?

  • Monitor height, weight and hemoglobin
  • Assess general health status
  • Discuss you and your child's nutritional needs

We need to remind you that WIC doesn't meet all the nutritional needs - it is a supplemental program. The food package is provided to each participant, tailoring it to meet to nutritional needs of each participant on the program.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please call the WIC office at (320)763-7805 prior to your appointment and we would be happy to help you.

You may also find additional ingformation at this website: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/index.html



Child and Teen Care

Child and Teen Checkups (C&TC) are complete head-to-toe health and development checkups. They are cost-free to any person under 21 years old who is insured by PrimeWest, Medical Assistance or another public health care plan, like Medica or Blue Plus. Regular C&TC health exams help infants, children and adolescents be the healthiest they can be. Your health care provider can help you understand and address physical, mental or emotional health issues before they become serious.



What’s included in a FREE Child and Teen Checkup?

  • Information about good physical and mental health
  • Time to ask questions and get answers about your child’s health, behavior and development
  • Information about thoughts, feelings and relationships with others
  • Complete head-to-toe physical exam
  • Shots
  • Hearing check
  • Vision check
  • Age appropriate lab tests
  • Development and growth checks
  • Oral check and referral to the dentist

How often should children get Child & Teen Checkups?

  • Between birth and 1 month
  • At 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18 months
  • At 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 years
  • Every two years after age 6 up to age 21
  • More often if needed

What if your child needs a physical for a special reason?

In addition to the regular screening schedule, if your child needs a physical for childcare, a Head Start Screening, Early Childhood Screening, Camp or Sports physical ask your clinic to schedule a Child and Teen Checkup. A C&TC is appropriate for all these various screening needs. Be sure to bring the forms that need to be completed to your appointment.

Preparing for a Child and Teen Checkup

  • Write down the questions you, or your child have, about their health, growth, development, behavior, or safety so you'll remember to ask.
  • Be sure to share concerns early in the visit, so you have time to talk with your provider.
  • If you have specific concerns or needs, please let the clinic know when scheduling the appointment so they can allow enough time for the visit.
  • Again, bring the forms that need to be filled out for school, childcare, Head Start, camp or sports physicals.

What about Referrals

  • If during the screening, it is determined your child needs a referral for any reason, like vision or growth or development, your provider will make a referral so the potential problem can be assessed. Before you leave the clinic, be sure you understand why the referral is being made and where you need to take your child.

What will the provider check at my child's age?

  • If you click on this link Schedule of Age-Related Screening Standards, it will show a table of all the components of a C&TC and the ages at which they are completed. Some, like health education are addressed at every visit, others like hemoglobin are only completed at certain ages.

  • Child and Teen Screening Schedule

Why should my child have a blood lead test at 9 to 12 months and 24 months?

Lead is part of our world today. It is found in the air, soil, dust and the paint of some homes or buildings built before 1978. It may also be found in drinking water due to the presence of lead in home plumbing and lead service lines. Being exposed to too much lead can cause serious health problems. Lead is never a normal part of the body. The good news is lead poisoning can be prevented.

It is important to test children at 9-12 months and again at 24 months of age because crawling and putting everything in their mouths is part of normal development. These are the very activities that put toddlers at higher risk for lead poisoning. If children are not tested at these ages, they need to have a lead test once between 2 and 6 years of age.

For more information about lead and lead poisoning go to: http://www.health.state.mn.us/topics/lead/index.html

Did you say the Checkups are FREE?

Yes! Every young adult, adolescent, child and infant under 21 years old, whose insurance is PrimeWest, Medical Assistance or another MN Health Care Plan can get free medical, dental and vision checkups.

Where can I get Child and Teen Checkups for my children?

Please click for participating dentists and optometrists.

MEDICAL PROVIDERS

Below is a list of Child & Teen Checkup Providers in the Horizon Counties and Surrounding Area. When you call a healthcare provider, ask to schedule a Child & Teen Checkup.

Medical Providers
Medical Providers
Medical Providers

DENTAL HEALTH

When should I take my child in for a dental checkup?

Dental checkups should begin with the first tooth and no later than 12 months of age. Regular dental checkups should occur at least every six months. A referral to the dentist is part of every Child and Teen Checkup. The actual checkup at the dentist’s office is billed separately to the child’s health care plan.

Where should I take my child to the dentist?

The following list of dental providers accept PrimeWest/Medical Assistance insurance. This list can change frequently. Some may only take a certain number of new patients a month while others may stop taking new patients. Once you are able to find a dental home for your children it is very important to follow through with appointments and regular checkups.

Call one of these dental providers to make an appointment and establish a dental home for your children. If you cannot find a dentist who will see your child, call your child’s health care/dental customer or member service line on their health insurance card and they will help you.

Flouride Varnishing

Child Dental Checkups

Why should Fluoride Varnishing be part of my child’s health care?

Studies show that fluoride varnish reduces early childhood cavities.

Dental caries (cavities) is the most common, chronic childhood disease in the United States, even though it can be prevented. In the last 20 years, dental caries in children has increased, particularly in children ages 2 to 5 years. Many children do not see a dentist until cavities have already formed.

Most Medicaid-eligible children in Minnesota receive at least one of their recommended C&TC visits every year. Fluoride varnish application in the context of a clinic visit is an easy, safe and effective way for health care providers to prevent dental caries. Clicking on this link will give you more information.


Dental Locations Dental Locations


Studies show that fluoride varnish reduces early childhood cavities. Dental caries (cavities) is the most common, chronic childhood disease in the United States, even though it can be prevented. In the last 20 years, dental caries in children has increased, particularly in children ages 2 to 5 years. Many children do not see a dentist until cavities have already formed. Most Medicaid-eligible children in Minnesota receive at least one of their recommended C&TC visits every year. Fluoride varnish application in the context of a clinic visit is an easy, safe and effective way for health care providers to prevent dental caries. For more information.

VISION PROVIDERS

Glasses

Here is a list of eye clinics in our area. Scroll to the end of this provider list to read about the difference between an optometrist and ophthalmologist.

ALEXANDRIA Phone
ALEXANDRIA EYE CLINIC PA Timothy L Gess, Ophthalmologist Deb Ristvedt, Ophthalmologist 1501 Hawthorne Street Alexandria, MN 320-762-2166
CENTRAL MINNESOTA RETINA SPECIALISTS 2633 Jefferson St Suite 802 Alexandria, MN Providers: Ophthalmologist 866-667-8585
EYE ASSOCIATES OF ALEXANDRIA 1610 Broadway Providers: Optometrist Alexandria, MN NOT ACCEPTING MA AT THIS TIME 320-763-4321
GESS EYE CLINIC John A Gess, Optometrist 109 15th Ave E Alexandria Providers: Optometrist 320-762-5112
LAKE REGION EYE CENTER 610 30th Ave W Suite 200 (Alex Clinic) Alexandria, MN Providers: Optometrist, Ophthalmologist 320-763-7055
MIDWEST VISION CENTER Viking Plaza Mall 3015 Hwy 29 S Alexandria, MN Providers: Optometrist 320-762-8104
MINNESOTA EYE INSTITUTE 3401 S. Broadway Alexandria, MN Providers: Ophthalmologist 320-759-2020
RANDY’S FAMILY OPTICAL 2306 S Broadway St Suite 12 Alexandria, MN Providers:Optometrist 320-763-7782
RUNESTONE EYE CARE Viking Plaza Mall 3015 St Hwy 29 S Alexandria, MN Providers: Optometrist 320-759-1130
WALMART VISION CENTER (Inside Walmart) 4611 Highway 29 S Alexandria, MN 320-762-4044
Appleton Phone
CONROY EYE CARE PC 229 North Miles Street Appleton, MN Provider: Optometrist 320-289-1810
Fergus Falls Phone
FERGUS FALLS OPTOMETRIC CENTER LTD 117 East Lincoln Fergus Falls, MN Providers: Optometrists 800-585-2015
LAKE REGION EYECARE 111 West Vernon Avenue Fergus Falls, MN Providers: Optometrists 218-736-5671
MIDWEST VISION CENTER Westridge Mall 2001 West Lincoln, Suite 19 Fergus Falls, MN Providers: Optometrists 218-739-2236
Glenwood Phone
GLACIAL RIDGE EYE CLINIC 24 First Street SE Glenwood, MN Providers: Optometrists 320-634-4516
Morris, MN Phone
MIDWEST FAMILY EYE CARE 512 Atlantic Avenue Morris, MN Providers: Optometrist 320-589-1300
STEVENS COMMUNITY MEDICAL CENTER EYE CLINIC 400 East First Street Morris, MN Provider: Optometrist 320-589-7673 800-993-7262
Wahpeton, ND Phone
Sanford Clinic Wahpeton Ophthalmology Department 332 Second Avenue North Wahpeton, ND 58075 701-642-7000
Wheaton, MN Phone
CONROY EYE CARE 1011 Broadway Wheaton, MN 56296 Provider: Optometrist 320-563-4610

Visit the Lions website to find the president of a local Lions Club and contact that person with your eye care request.

Visit Minnesota Vision Project or call 800-766-4466

*Optometrist or Ophthalmologist? One of the most common mistakes many patients make is to consider an optometrist and ophthalmologist as the same position, however there is a huge difference between the two. Optometrists are usually the primary health provider for normal vision problems and yearly checkups. The position requires a Doctor of Optometry degree and a license, and allows the diagnosing for common vision acuity problems like farsightedness and nearsightedness, prescribing corrective eyeglasses, contact lenses, dispensing and prescription of certain medication, plus testing for eye diseases and conditions. Optometrists can handle all this, usually in their own office or for a firm.

Ophthalmologists can perform the same functions as optometrists, but are considered a higher position as they actually are medical doctors with Doctors of Medicine or Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine degrees who specialize in the eyes and vision care. This means an ophthalmologist can diagnose and treat highly complicated eyes issues, can perform surgeries like Lasik and repair retinal damage, and can handle more area specific cases in vision care.


The main difference between the two eye-related careers is that an ophthalmologist can handle surgeries and other issues that require more training on the medical side.

 


Please call Horizon Public Health for more information about Head Start and Early Childhood Screenings. The number is 800-450-4417 or 320-763-6062.


School & Head Start Screenings

Before children start Head Start or Kindergarten, they need a health and development screening.

Head Start Screening

The health and development screening requirement for Head Start is the same screening as a Child and Teen Checkup. All the same components are completed. The West Central Minnesota Head Start Program contracts with Horizon Public Health for Head Start screenings. Children

When your child is accepted into Head Start, a referral comes to Horizon Public Health from Head Start. Horizon then contacts you to set up a screening appointment at one of our offices.

See the Child and Teen Checkup information tab in this website for more information.

Early Childhood Screening (ECS)

The early childhood years from birth to the start of kindergarten are an important time of rapid learning and growth. Early Childhood Screening is provided by Horizon Public Health for the school districts in Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens and Traverse Counties. Early Childhood Screening is Free!

You will be contacted by Horizon Public Health to schedule your child’s appointment when your child is between the ages of 3 and 4. If you are new to the area or not sure if the school district has your child’s name, call your school district to register.

When children come for their Early Childhood Screening, the Horizon Public Health screening nurse will check your child’s:

  • vision and hearing
  • height and weight
  • shot record
  • large and small muscle development
  • thinking, language and communication skills
  • social and emotional development

ECS is a quick and simple check of how your child is growing and developing. The screening detects possible health or learning concerns so children can get help before they start school. Waiting until a child is in school may be waiting too long. Earlier is better!

A health and development screening for Head Start or a Child and Teen Checkups meets the school requirements for ECS. When children have had one of these screenings in the previous year, they do not have to be screened again. Some school districts, through Horizon Public Health, offer all the components of a Child and Teen Checkup to children needing an ECS. A visit to a health care provider may also meet the school requirements.

Early Childhood Screening, or the information from a similar screening like Head Start or a Child & Teen Checkup, is required before kindergarten in Minnesota’s public schools. If children do not get a screening before they start kindergarten they must have one within 30 days. Visit the Minnesota Department of Education web page for more information on Early Childhood Screeings.

Please call Horizon Public Health for more information about Head Start and Early Childhood Screenings. The number is 800-450-4417 or 320-763-6062.


School & Head Start Screenings

Before children start Head Start or Kindergarten, they need a health and development screening. Watch the Early Childhood Screening Parent Video.

Head Start Screening

The health and development screening requirement for Head Start is the same screening as a Child and Teen Checkup. All the same components are completed. The West Central Minnesota Head Start Program contracts with Horizon Public Health for Head Start screenings. Children

When your child is accepted into Head Start, a referral comes to Horizon Public Health from Head Start. Horizon then contacts you to set up a screening appointment at one of our offices.

See the Child and Teen Checkup information tab in this website for more information.

Early Childhood Screening (ECS)

The early childhood years from birth to the start of kindergarten are an important time of rapid learning and growth. Early Childhood Screening is provided by Horizon Public Health for the school districts in Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens and Traverse Counties. Early Childhood Screening is Free!

You will be contacted by Horizon Public Health to schedule your child’s appointment when your child is between the ages of 3 and 4. If you are new to the area or not sure if the school district has your child’s name, call your school district to register.

When children come for their Early Childhood Screening, the Horizon Public Health screening nurse will check your child’s:

  • vision and hearing
  • height and weight
  • shot record
  • large and small muscle development
  • thinking, language and communication skills
  • social and emotional development

ECS is a quick and simple check of how your child is growing and developing. The screening detects possible health or learning concerns so children can get help before they start school. Waiting until a child is in school may be waiting too long. Earlier is better!

A health and development screening for Head Start or a Child and Teen Checkups meets the school requirements for ECS. When children have had one of these screenings in the previous year, they do not have to be screened again. Some school districts, through Horizon Public Health, offer all the components of a Child and Teen Checkup to children needing an ECS. A visit to a health care provider may also meet the school requirements.

Early Childhood Screening, or the information from a similar screening like Head Start or a Child & Teen Checkup, is required before kindergarten in Minnesota’s public schools. If children do not get a screening before they start kindergarten they must have one within 30 days. Visit the Minnesota Department of Education web page for more information on Early Childhood Screeings. Watch the Early Childhood Screening Parent Video here

Please call Horizon Public Health for more information about Head Start and Early Childhood Screenings. The number is 800-450-4417 or 320-763-6062.


Child Passenger Safety

Car Seat Checks and Education
Find out if your car seat is right… Child Passenger Safety Specialists can answer questions regarding child safety seats and check your car seats. At a check, seats are evaluated for: defects, recall listings, suitability for the age of the child, and fit with the safety belt system in the vehicle. This service is available at no charge.

Car Seat Distribution
Car seats at no cost for persons with PrimeWest Health coverage, with additional car seats available for others who qualify

  • Are you expecting a baby?
  • Is your infant growing out of the infant carrier seat?
  • Is your toddler growing out of the convertible seat?
  • Does your 4-8 year old need a booster?

The Right Seat…The Right Size….The Right Use
For more information: Contact Public Health to schedule your car seat check, education and for an appointment time to receive a child safety seat and instructions on proper use and installation.

Offices at:

MN Office of Traffic Safety:
https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/child-passenger-safety/Pages/default.aspx


Follow Along Program (FAP)

Learning About Your Child's Development
The Follow Along Program (FAP) is a good way to learn if your child is talking, moving, playing and acting like other children at the same age and to Dragon Fly get some ideas for activities you can do with your child. The Follow Along Program:

  • Is for ALL parents of children, birth to age 3, living in the five Horizon Counties-Douglas, Grant, Pope, Stevens and Traverse
  • Is available to all families at no cost
  • Provides age related questionnaires about your child’s communication, motor, self-help and social-emotional development
  • Provides results of the questionnaires along with fun activities at your child’s age level
  • Provides a response to your concerns
  • Provides referrals to other supports and resources, as needed.

For questions or to enroll your child, call Jane at 320-208-6692 or Kim at 320-763-7805 or e-mail to fap@horizonph.org.

Minnesota Department of Health- Infant Follow Along:http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/cfh/program/cyshn/follow.cfm

Help Me Grow: Is Your Child On Track?

Help Me Grow helps you know. (And helps you know what to do next.) http://helpmegrowmn.org/HMG/index.htm

Parents Know: http://parentsknow.state.mn.us/parentsknow/index.html

Minnesota Department of Health: Children with Special Needs http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/cfh/program/cyshn

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