GREAT FALLS — The Children's Museum of Montana in downtown Great Falls was filled Friday with kids up to three years old getting free vision, dental, hearing, and developmental checkups.
Tiffany Carpenter brought her three-year-old daughter to the event and said, "It's just nice to be able to come here and see what areas we need to work on. "There's some things we would like to work on her (with), I guess in the cognitive area. She just needs a little bit more help on her motor skills and stuff like that.”
The free screenings were set up by Benchmark Human Services. Kari Hoover, the regional programs director for BHS, explained, "Typically, we have (these events) through the public schools that we attend to but because of COVID they canceled (the events).”
"Gives me lots of peace of mind that we can work on her and get her up to speed so when she does go to school and start interacting with other kids that she can be right up there with them,” said Carpenter.
Amber Kline is the lead technologist at Central Montana Eye Care and was helping with vision screenings during the event.
"Something that we look for is any kind of eye rubbing, any kind of eye turning. if your child was born prematurely (and had oxygen therapy), any kind of retinal development can kind of change with some oxygen therapy,” she explained.
Hoover said this may now become an annual event. "We are blown away with the amount of response that we've gotten today. So many families coming in with their children. It's great to see the kids be able to play and interact with each other when we've been isolated for so long. It really just shows how thoughtful that the parents of these communities are."