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UTSD, Lifeprint Team Up for Child Safety

Friday, May 17, 2013 - 10:16am

Dental hygiene students (from left) Violeta Ayer, Ami Sanchez and Veronica Cordon teach Maddison Palencia, 4, of Houston about foods that stick to teeth.

Dental hygiene students (from left) Violeta Ayer, Ami Sanchez and Veronica Cordon teach Maddison Palencia, 4, of Houston about foods that stick to teeth. Photo by Rhonda Whitmeyer.

Houston-area children are a little safer this week after UT School of Dentistry and Lifeprint Next Generation teamed up May 11 to provide free dental screenings and oral hygiene information, plus the children’s palm and fingerprints saved on CDs for their parents to keep.  Students from UT School of Nursing also volunteered to do blood pressure screenings for both children and adults.

UTSD Community Outreach Director Margo Melchor, RDH, MEd, thanked approximately 30 volunteers for their help, noting that while the turnout was lower than expected, the children and parents really appreciated the services provided.

As part of the event, School of Dentistry personnel staffed the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, where children got free dental screenings. The Care Mobile was a 2012 gift to UTSD from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston.

Lifeprint is an organization dedicated to children’s safety. It is endorsed by John Walsh, host of the Fox TV show, “America’s Most Wanted.” He is also the father of 6-year-old son Adam Walsh, who was abducted in the 1980s and eventually found dead. Determined not to let Adam's death be in vain, John Walsh has been an advocate for child safety, helping educate parents about how to prevent and react when a child goes missing. 

Dr. Yasmine Haddad counsels 7-year-old Emily Nguyen's father about findings from the dental screening May 11 at the Child Safety Event.

Dr. Yasmine Haddad counsels 7-year-old Emily Nguyen's father about findings from a dental screening performed May 11 as UTSD's part in the Lifeprint Next Generation Child Safety Event. Photo by Rhonda Whitmeyer.