Bellarine Community Health’s Child Health and Development team see children who are aged 0 -12 years.
Our team includes: speech pathologist, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, dietician, podiatrist, community health nurse and dental services.
We work with parents or carers to give ideas and information on how they can support their child’s health and development. Children who require assistance in the following areas: social, physical, emotional, speech, language, diet, dental, and nutritional requirements shall be seen individually or in groups. We also see children who are registered with National Disability Insurance Service (NDIS).
A service can be provided within a community health centre, child’s home, kindergarten, child care settings, schools and in other community settings.
Fees are charged according to family income. For families who are on a low income there is no charge.
Community Nursing for Children
The Community Nursing and Support Program provides high standard nursing care to people in their own homes and other community settings.
This service extends to children and could include assistance with:
- Wound assessment and management
- Medication management
- Referral to other services
Children's Dental Program
Free dental services are available to all primary school and pre-school aged children 0-12 years of age with no waiting list. Examinations or treatment include:
- Checkups, cleaning and extractions
- Fillings and fissure sealants;
- Fitting of mouth guards and splints
- Professional and dietary advice
- Referrals to paediatric dentists
Phone 5258 0828 for all dental appointments.
Click here for general information on our dental service
Child Nutrition and Dietetics
Dietitian-Nutritionists supports your child to grow well, perform well and attain and maintain health.
We provide dietary advice relating to:
- Infant feeding
- Introduction of solids
- Feeding/eating behaviours
- Fussy eating
- Food allergies and intolerances
- Treatment of diet-related childhood diseases such as constipation, asthma, eczema, diabetes, coeliac disease, cystic fibrosis.
Your session will also include:
- Assessment of growth and nutritional status
- Education in food choices to promote health for all ages and stages of life
- Ongoing motivation and support
- Referral to other support services where required
Child Occupational Therapy
Occupation Therapists support children in their day to day tasks. They assist children and families to attend to daily routines and be involved in activities that are age appropriate.
An Occupational Therapist can support your children with the following:
- Self care skills: dressing, eating, cutlery use, bathing, toileting, grooming, sleep routines
- Hand Skills: scissor skills, grasp, handwriting, drawing, construction, shoelace tying, doing up zips and clothing clips.
- Following and completing routines: getting ready for school, going to school, looking after their belongings, following instructions.
- Play skills: join in age appropriate play including: pretend play, table- top tasks such as puzzle skills and craft activities.
- Social skills: learning to play with others, taking turns, sharing, responding to other’s emotions and requests, problem solving in social situations.
- Sensory needs: support children who may seek out or avoid different types of sensory input through their body senses. For example sound, touch, smell, movement and sight.
Our Occupational Therapist discusses the child’s needs with parents or carers and provides activities to support the child’s needs. They see children at home, kindergarten, child care, school and in the community. They can assist your child in a group setting or individually to ensure your child achieves success.
Physiotherapists are experts in movement and function of the human body. They assist patients to overcome movement disorders.
Our specialist Paediatric Physiotherapist can assist with babies or children who have issues with:
- Delays reaching developmental milestones such as sitting, crawling, walking, running and jumping
- Balance and coordination: clumsiness, regular falls
- Muscle weakness and pain
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Posture concerns of the head, spine, hips, knees and feet
- Movement following injury
Treatment may include education for the child and carers, stretching and strengthening, balance training, re-education of normal movement patterns or working on fine and gross motor skills.
The Physiotherapist will provide strategies for the child, family and carers to progress the child’s physical skills through all aspects of their everyday life. The service can be at the community health centre, home or school based.
Podiatrists are trained foot specialists who can diagnose, treat and prevent foot and lower limb problems. Children’s feet are different to their adult form and early intervention with our qualified Podiatrist can prevent foot, lower leg and gait problems continuing into adult life.
Children may be referred to this service if they are experiencing:
- Foot and leg pain
- Uneven shoe-wear
- Gait problems
- Warts and skin problems
- Corns and callous
- Ingrown toe-nails
- Sporting injuries
- Curly toes
- Footwear issues
Child Speech Pathology
Speech Pathologists are trained to assess, diagnose, advise and treat communication disorders.
Preschool children may require assistance with:
- Speech: involves saying the sounds in words so people can understand what is being said
- Language: involves exchange of ideas using words, usually in spoken form. A child may have trouble understanding and following instructions, and /or using words to form sentences.
- Literacy: involves pre reading
- Social communication: is how we communicate and involves how we understand non-verbal information and social rules so that we can form friendships and relate to others.
- Voice: using the vocal cords or voice box to produce speech
- Fluency: often known as stuttering which usually is first noticed when a child starts to put words/sentences together.
Advice and treatment ideas can occur in individual or group sessions to enable parents to help their child improve their communication skills and therefore quality of life. Seeing a child when concerns are first identified ensures parents are informed of their child’s needs and given strategies to help overcome their difficulties.