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CHP+ Reminds Colorado Parents To Think Safety First
by Joanne Lindsay

For most Colorado kids, summer fun has come to an end and school is back in session. As the school year starts, it is important for parents to make sure that safety comes first. Child Heath Plan Plus (CHP+) is proud to provide parents with tips to help make the upcoming school year safe and healthy for Colorado kids.

CHP+ is the State’s free and low-cost health and dental insurance program for uninsured Colorado children ages 18 and under whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance. CHP+ pays for many health services for children including physicals, immunizations (shots), medications, well-child check ups, vision and hearing care, behavioral care, visits to the emergency room and doctor visits. CHP+ also offers comprehensive health care benefits to pregnant women through the CHP+ Prenatal Care Program.

“Recently, I met with a Durango mother whose family is struggling to meet just cost of living. Her 7-year-old son had an emergency room trip to the hospital after his hand was accidentally slammed in a door at school. Accidents like this happen, but without CHP+ coverage, their family would have been hit with thousands of dollars in medical bills,” said Lieutenant Governor Barbara O’Brien. “CHP+ provides parents with peace of mind and can offer a solution in case of a costly accident. Children enrolled in CHP+ can receive the health and dental care they need and deserve.”

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 200,000 children in the U.S. go to the emergency room with injuries involving playground equipment. Some of the most common and serious accidents involve children getting drawstrings from clothing caught in vehicles or on playground equipment.

To help keep kids safe below are several tips from CPSC and the American Academy of Pediatrics:

• Cut all drawstrings on hoods and necks of sweatshirts, jackets, etc. This will prevent them from getting caught on the bus, the jungle gym or anything else.

• Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back. Also, make sure children pack light and use both straps.

• If the school bus has seat belts, make sure your child is using one at all times.

• If the school bus does not have seat belts, make sure children do not move around on the bus.

• If your child walks to school, make sure they take a safe route and wear bright colored clothing so that they can be seen.

• If your child rides a bike to school, make sure they are wearing a helmet that meets current safety standards.

In addition, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that every child have updated immunizations. Colorado schools require that your child have all their immunizations to attend and a physical if they want to play sports. CHP+ covers the costs of all immunizations and annual well-child check ups are free.

Help keep Colorado kids healthy! For more information in English and Spanish about CHP+ eligibility or to get an application, visit CHPplus.org. Families can also call toll free at 1-800-359-1991.