The staff of North Florida Child Development is excited to announce that they have been picked to participate in this year’s National Center on Health UCLA Healthcare Training Institute.


The staff of North Florida Child Development is excited to announce that they have been picked to participate in this year’s National Center on Health UCLA Healthcare Training Institute. With nine regional centers and serving over 360 area families, North Florida Child Development is one of only 50 Early Head Start and Head Start programs, nationwide, and the only one in Florida, selected to receive the training.



The mission of UCLA Healthcare Training Institute is to educate parents in America to make better healthcare decisions for their children. North Florida Child Development applied for the training, which is 100 percent grant funded, and plans to conduct the parent training sessions in September of this year. Over 100 area families will participate in the initial two-day workshop receiving textbook and other valuable healthcare tools such as digital thermometers, free of charge.



“This training is designed to provide healthcare knowledge and enable parents to make better healthcare decisions for their children,” said Sharon Gaskin, Executive Director of NFCD.



The program is based on the “What to Do When Your Child Gets Sick” guidebook assembled by the UCLA group. In addition to the easy-to-read book, training sessions for parents will also include hands-on education on how to correctly measure medication and the correct hand-washing technique, among other things.



Flipping through the book, Gaskin said each chapter has the same four sections: What is it, what do I see, what can I do at home and when to call the doctor.



“It’s natural for parents to be worried when their child gets sick but it (the book) really takes the panic out,” said Gaskin.



A UCLA study showed that from 2002 to 2006 the program reduced participants' emergency room visits by 58 percent, doctor's visits by 42 percent and missed school days by 29 percent.



During the last decade, UCLA health experts have helped Head Start coordinators train over 45,000 families in 39 states to use basic tools including reference books, digital thermometers and liquid medical dispensers to treat their children and avoid unnecessary visits to doctor's offices and emergency rooms.



For more information contact Sebrina McGill, NFCD, at 639-5080.