New Laws Affecting Childrens Health

The people of the State of California have recently passed several laws designed to improve their children's health and access to health care.

School Menus. Beginning July 2007 and implemented gradually thereafter, public schools will be allowed to sell only milk and certain beverages that contain at least 50% fruit juice and no soda at all. Also, schools will have to cut the calories, fat and sugar content of school snacks and meals that don't meet new strict guidelines.

Mandatory Dentist Visits. In addition to required health check-ups and immunizations, children attending kindergarten at a public school (or first graders if they didn't attend kindergarten) must have their teeth and gums inspected by the end of May of that year. There are limited exceptions for children whose parents oppose such visit or if it is too much of a financial burden on the parent.

Body Piercings and Tattoos. It is illegal to offer to perform or to actually perform body piercing (other than on the ears) on anyone under age 18 unless a parent or guardian is present or has signed a notarized consent form.