Winter Edition - January 2019
Happy New Year to all Florida KidCare families !

As you and your family make plans for the year ahead, there is no better time than now to commit to healthy changes that can help everyone in your family. An easy first step is to ask for one idea from every member of the family, including your kids! Including your kids in this process helps them to feel connected and gives the family more reason to stick with it. Some helpful ideas to get the conversation started include: a family walk around the neighborhood a few times a week (bring the dog along!), trying new fruits or vegetables at mealtimes or visiting a local park on the weekends to enjoy the playground or a family game of Frisbee. When the whole family is on board, there is a better chance for these small changes to become a natural part of the family's daily life and for long-term success!

A new year is also a great time to begin thinking about how, and when, you will use the benefits available to your child over the next 12 months. Florida KidCare offers free preventive well-child visits, immunizations, vision screenings and twice-a-year dental cleanings to name just a few. By planning now, you can make sure to take advantage of all these services and keep your child healthy as they grow this year. If you have any questions about your benefits, call your health or dental insurance plans. The number is on your ID card. For additional resources, you can visit us online at .

Florida KidCare wishes all its families a prosperous and healthy 2019!
Florida KidCare Celebrates National Children's Dental Health Month
February is National Children's Dental Health awareness month.

Did you know completely free or low-cost dental insurance for kids is available with any Florida KidCare program?

Covered dental services include, but are not limited to, regular check-ups, cleanings, topical fluoride, sealants and spacers.

To learn more about our dental benefits, visit
Seal Out Decay
Brought to you by Dentaquest
The first step in having healthy teeth is preventing tooth decay. Sealants can protect your child’s teeth against cavities.

What Is A Sealant?
A sealant is a thin plastic coating that is placed on the chewing surface of the back teeth. Sealants keep food and bacteria away from the grooves of these teeth. Sealants will protect the teeth from plaque and acids. Plaque can change the sugar and starch from food into harmful acids that attack the teeth and cause cavities. Sealants protect the grooves of the back teeth by sealing out the plaque, food and acids.

Who Should Get Sealants?
All children should have sealants placed on their back teeth as soon as the tooth erupts. Sealants can only be placed on teeth that do not have cavities. That is why it is important to take your child to the dentist every six months so that the sealants can be applied as soon as the back teeth erupt.

How Are Sealants Put Onto Teeth?
Your dentist will place sealants on your child’s teeth. Sealants are easy to apply and it only takes a few minutes. After cleaning the tooth, the sealant is painted onto the grooves of the back teeth and it hardens. Sometimes a special light is used to help harden the sealant. This procedure is not painful.

Give your child the best chance for healthy teeth by sealing out decay!
Dark, Leafy Greens
Brought to you by

From spinach and Swiss chard to kale and collards, leafy greens pile your plate with the vitamins and minerals your body needs to fight off disease. And when it comes to which are the most nutrient-rich, remember one thing - the darker, the better.

Why? Because these veggies are rich in antioxidants, including vitamins A and C. These compounds clear the body of harmful free radicals. Some antioxidants in leafy greens may even protect against certain types of cancer.
Besides their disease-fighting characteristics, these greens are fat-free, cholesterol-free and low-calorie - and some are even an excellent source of fiber.

  • Choosing: Pick crisp, green bunches without insect damage.
  • Storing: After washing and rinsing them thoroughly - no one likes gritty greens - you can loosely wrap them in damp paper towels and store them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to five days.
  • Prep: Salads? Sure. Sandwiches? Easy addition. But consider mixing it up: Sauté spinach, grill collards and consider throwing Swiss chard or kale into a soup or casserole.

 Sources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; American Cancer Society; American Institute for Cancer Research; Produce for Better Health Foundation.
Florida Healthy Kids Corporation Welcomes New Board Chair
On December 10, 2018, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis appointed Dr. Stephanie Haridopolos as Chair of the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation Board of Directors. "Dr. Haridopolos' medical expertise and her leadership will bring a fresh perspective to Florida Healthy Kids," stated CFO Patronis.

Dr. Haridopolos is a board-certified family medicine physician who completed her residency at Albany Medical Center in New York. She was appointed by former Gov. Rick Scott to serve on the Board of Medicine in May 2017, where she most recently served as Chair of the Rules and Legislative Committee and Vice-Chair of the Probation Committee. She previously held positions with the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence Foundation, the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk and former Attorney General Pam Bondi's Florida Statewide Drug Task Force.

"I'm thrilled to take on this new role to help even more of Florida's children get the care they need and deserve," said Dr. Haridopolos.

Rebecca Matthews, CEO of the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation said, "Dr. Haridopolos' years of experience as a practicing family physician, coupled with her expansive knowledge of health care policy, makes her an extraordinary selection to our Board of Directors in the years ahead."
Protect Your
Brought to you by

You do a lot to help protect your pre-teen. You make sure they buckle up in the car, wear a helmet when riding a bike and get a flu shot each year. Did you know there is a way for you to help protect your pre-teen from certain cancers down the road? There are two simple vaccine doses that can help protect your teen from HPV, or Human Papillomavirus.

HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection. This virus is the most common risk factor for cervical cancer. It can also cause other cancers, such as throat and anal cancer. Some people may have the virus and show no signs, and then pass the virus on to others without knowing. Cancer can take years to develop after a person gets HPV. This is why it is important to vaccinate your pre-teen long before they are at risk of getting infected.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends 11- and 12-year-olds of both genders receive two doses of the HPV vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV. Is your pre-teen protected? Talk to your child’s doctor today about the HPV vaccine.

Asthma Awareness
Brought to you by Staywell Kids

 Asthma is a disease that makes it hard to breathe. It can cause wheezing, chest tightness and coughing.

You can control your child's asthma. Know your child's asthma triggers and find ways to manage your child's symptoms.

Your child's doctor might advise you to:

  • Avoid the triggers that cause an attack
  • Remove the things in your environment that makes your child's asthma worse
  • Take medicine - there are 2 types:
  • Quick-relief: take during an asthma attack
  • Long-term control: take regularly to reduce the number and severity of asthma attacks
Your child can live a healthy, active lifestyle when their asthma is controlled. Your child will have fewer symptoms, can exercise normally and might even sleep better.

Talk to your child's doctor to learn more.

Source: CDC " You Can Control Asthma "
Binge-Watching From Electronic Devices Can Impact Your Child's Eyes
Brought to you by Argus Dental Plan

After a long day at school, what do most children like to do? Sit and unwind by watching television, playing video games, or browsing on their tablet or smartphone.
95% of teens have access to smartphones and about half say they’re on them constantly. So, between social media, homework, video games, and watching TV, your child is probably spending more time on digital devices than you realize. 

Digital devices such as smartphones, computer monitors, flat screen TVs and tablets all emit High Energy Visible Light (HEV) or Blue Light that can cause eye problems. Signs that your child may be getting too much exposure to digital device include:

  • Dry Eyes
  • Blurry Vision
  • Double Vision
  • Delay Focusing
  • Headaches
So, before your child binges on a favorite TV show or video game, encourage them to:

  • Take a short break every 20 minutes – this allows the eyes to rest and refresh
  • Blink! - this replenishes eye fluids to prevent eye irritation from dryness
  • Look away often - the muscles of the eye work harder to focus up close than far away - looking away gives the eye muscles a break. 

Best Practice: reduce the number of hours spent watching TV or surfing the internet to prevent damage to your child’s eye sight.
Fluoride for Strong Teeth!
Brought to you by

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, a time to learn about what you can do to have good oral health for life. One way to keep your child's teeth strong against cavities is with fluoride. It is an important mineral for our teeth. Fluoride:

  • Prevents new cavities from forming.
  • Stops cavities that have already started.
  • Makes teeth stronger to help fight off sugar and bacteria attacks.

An easy way to get fluoride is by drinking water from the tap in many cities. Most bottled water does not have fluoride. You can also get fluoride by eating fish, fresh fruits, vegetables and cereals.

Toothpaste is another great source of fluoride. Both children and adults should brush their teeth two times a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Be sure you do not use too much toothpaste when you brush! Children should only use an amount the size of a grain of rice on their toothbrush.

Your child's dentist can also give your child a fluoride treatment as a part of a regular dental checkup. There are a few different ways to get this treatment. It can be applied to teeth in the form of a gel, foam or mouth rinse.
Rebuild Florida Available to Help Homeowners
Recover From Hurricane Irma
Brought to you by the

Rebuild Florida is a program of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), created to help Florida recover from the devastating impacts of Hurricane Irma. The first phase of Rebuild Florida is the Housing Repair and Replacement Program, which will assist families to rebuild their homes that were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma. Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida on September 10, 2017, causing destruction and damage to thousands of homes in its path. The state of Florida is committed to helping homeowners affected by the storm by rebuilding or replacing damaged homes.
Rebuild Florida is a partnership of DEO and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which approved funding to local communities for Florida's long-term recovery efforts after the 2017 hurricane season. Rebuild Florida will repair and rebuild damaged homes across the hardest-hit communities of our state, with priority funding for those low-income residents who are most vulnerable, including the elderly, those with disabilities and families with children aged five and younger.
If you believe you may be eligible for assistance, please visit to register or call Rebuild Florida at 844-833-1010. You can also go to a Rebuild Florida Center to get help with registration.
Contact Florida KidCare - 1-888-540-KIDS (5437)
Monday – Friday | 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (EST) |