MATURA Head Start is hosting a program to train families what to do when their child gets sick.
The program, “A Minion Ways to Stay Healthy,” will be 6-8 p.m. Thursday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Creston. The goal is to train 100 head-start families on the program.
“The premise of it really is we would make sure families have in their hands a resource to tell them about lots of different illnesses so they could use that resource before they run to the ER or doctor,” said Julie Lang, MATURA Head Start director.
“A Minion Ways to Stay Healthy” is MATURA’s spin on a program that incorporates a book titled “What to do When Your Child Gets Sick.”
Everyone who attends the program Thursday will receive the book, along with a thermometer and measuring spoons. The goal is to give families a resource to consult anytime their child is sick.
According to the Health Care Institute, the training that goes along with the book has proven to decrease unnecessary emergency room visits by 58 percent, decrease school days missed by 29 percent and decrease work days missed by parents by 42 percent.
“We have health providers who know families are coming to the ER when they didn’t have to,” Lang said. “That can be an issue for insurance companies. We want people to know we’re trying to work with everybody together to provide this. From the standpoint of a business, they have employees who have kids who get sick. If they can take care of these things at home, the goal would be to decrease those kinds of ER doctor visits, as well as kids and parents would miss fewer days of school and work.”
In addition to receiving the book, there are health care-related door prizes.
The program is part of a research project to help the Health Care Institute determine statistics on emergency room visits. Lang said MATURA Head Start will be collecting data to see if there was a decrease in ER visits in the area served by MATURA Head Start.
She noted that when MATURA Head Start previously participated in this program, a decrease in ER visits was shown.
“The biggest thing to expect is to really know how to address a variety of illnesses at your fingertips. You’re going to have that resource. It has everything from a cough to a fever. Anything you can think of, you can look it up,” Lang said. “Some of those things aren’t common things we are born knowing or once you’re a parent you know how to handle those things. We want to help them make health care decisions for their kids to enable them to be a better parent when it comes time to take care of their kids when they’re sick.”