On Have a Heart for Kids Day (Thursday, Feb. 9) advocates, parents and kids will march to Washington’s state capitol and tell legislators to invest in families and children – their dental care, health and education – as they craft a balanced budget for the next two years.
It is a critical time for this rally because legislators are working to erase a $1 billion-plus budget deficit, and they are considering a long list of spending cuts, including reducing and eliminating vital services for families.
At tomorrow’s event, sponsored by the Children’s Alliance, parents and their kids will tell policymakers that eliminating family-friendly programs, such as prenatal oral health care, would be shortsighted, and actually could cost more over the long run.
For example, when a mother has dental disease, her children are far more likely to struggle with dental decay. In contrast, dental costs are nearly half for Medicaid-insured children who visit the dentist by the time they turn a year old (something that’s more likely when mom is taking care of her teeth) compared to children who have their first visit between ages four and five.
These findings show why it is so important for the legislature to preserve the state’s coverage of dental care for low-income pregnant women. Plus, state funds for this program are matched by the federal government.
To help raise awareness that dental care improves health and saves money, Arcora Foundation’s SmileMobile will be at the rally. It will be parked on the Capitol Campus between the Sundial and Legislative building. Volunteers will hand out toothbrushes and talk with visitors about the importance of children’s oral health and protecting dental coverage for low-income pregnant women.
When: Thursday, Feb. 9th, 10 a.m. (Registration opens at 9:30 a.m.)
Where: United Churches, 110 11th Ave. Southeast, Olympia, WA. Across the street from the state capitol.
Contact: Emijah Smith (206) 324-0340 ext 25 or emijah[at]childrensalliance[dot]org.
Use this link to sign up to attend.