Koori Kids ear clinics target learning barrier

Journey to Health chronic care co-ordinator Carolynne Leon checks Ty Wicks, 3, for a common ear infection that will be the focus of upcoming health sessions. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Journey to Health chronic care co-ordinator Carolynne Leon checks Ty Wicks, 3, for a common ear infection that will be the focus of upcoming health sessions. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

If children can't hear, they can't learn, which is why a series of Koori Kids Health Days will target a common ear infection.

The prevalence of otitis media - or middle ear infection - is high among Aboriginal children and often begins in the first weeks of life.

Illawarra Shoalhaven Medicare Local's (ISML) Journey to Health team hopes the sessions will raise awareness of the condition, and other childhood health problems, among parents and carers of Aboriginal children.

ISML Closing the Gap liaison officer Clare Williams said otitis media often went undetected, resulting in recurring ear disease.

Otitis refers to all forms of inflammation and infections of the inner ear.

"Most kids get it at some stage though Koori kids tend to get it at a much younger age, it tends to last longer and is more likely to reoccur during their childhood.

"Each time it can cause scarring of the ear which can lead to hearing loss, which then can lead to problems learning at school."

The health sessions will provide information to parents on the warning signs, risk factors and problems caused, while free health screening and kids' activities would also be available.

The Koori Kids Health Days will be held this Saturday from 9am to noon at Green Bean Cafe, Corrimal; on February 15 at Berkeley Community Centre, and February 22 at Nowra's Cullunghutti Aboriginal Child and Family Health Centre. For more information, call 4220 7688.

Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Picture: GREG TOTMAN

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop