The Jackson County Health Department is offering some free help for last-minute preparations for the new school year.
The department is holding a free back-to-school health and wellness fair. It’s from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the department’s offices, 313 S. Liberty St., a couple of blocks south of the Independence Square.
It includes free immunizations that incoming kindergartners and eighth graders need. Kindergartners need several shots: DTap (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, or whooping cough), polio, chicken pox and MMR (measles, mumps, rubella). They also need to be up to date on hepatitis B.
Incoming eighth graders have to have a Tdap shot, which is a booster for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.
Parents are asked to bring their children’s’ immunization records.
County officials say that although they are mostly trying to reach those without health insurance and those whose insurance doesn’t cover immunizations, no one will be turned away.
The health and wellness fair also will include:
• Free dental screenings.
• Free sports physicals. Those are by appointment. Call 816-404-6416.
• Free bicycle helmets for the first 50 participants.
• Free string backpacks.
Also, the county will offer emergency preparedness items such as first-aid kits and “Ready in 3” informational materials.
There is ample parking cater-cornered from the Health Department in the large county parking lot at Liberty Street and Walnut Avenue.