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Family health

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Learn more about Early Childhood Screening at 3

Early Childhood Screening at 3 video button

Learn more about whether your three year old is developmentally on track and will eventually be ready for Kindergarten. This is required for entrance in Minnesota's public schools or within 30 days of enrollment. The process is fun for the child. It involves playing games, following directions, a check of vision and hearing, child development and a review of the child's health. It’s available at your local school district and recommended at age 3 but can also be done at 4-5 years old. Watch the video to learn more about Early Childhood Screening at 3.

Family health tip

Establish good oral hygiene habits at an early age to improve overall health for a lifetime.


  • Brush your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss your teeth daily.
  • Visit your dentist regularly.


  • Wipe infants gum with a clean, damp gauze pad or washcloth after feedings.
  • Provide a clean pacifier; avoid sharing saliva on infant feeding spoons or pacifiers and NEVER put sugar or honey on a pacifier.
  • Have infants/children finish their bottle before going to sleep.
  • Tooth decay can begin prior to appearance of first tooth. Learn how to avoid baby bottle tooth decay here.

Young children

  • Children under 3 years of age: Caregivers brush child’s teeth with a smear of fluoride toothpaste twice daily.
  • Children 3-6 years of age: Caregivers supervise child brushing his or her teeth with a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste twice a day. Remind child to not swallow toothpaste.
  • Visit dentist regularly.

Older children/teens/adults

  • Brush teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste for 2 minutes.
  • Floss between teeth daily.
  • Avoid sugar and starchy snacks.
  • Wear a mouth guard when active.
  • Do not use tobacco products.
  • Do not pierce lips or any part of mouth.
  • Eat a balanced, nutritious diet for oral and overall health. More information here.
  • Visit dentist regularly.

Give Kids a Smile provides free dental care to children in need on the first Friday and Saturday in February. Get more information here.

For more information about caring for teeth, visit the American Dental Associations website here.

Additional family health tips.

Public Health Nurse services

Public Health Nurses provide these services in the community and at no charge to families and individuals in Bloomington, Edina and Richfield.

Bloomington Public Health data show significant success at promoting healthy childhood development for children enrolled in the Healthy Families America (HFA) evidence based home visiting program. Public Health Nurses created a video with help from City Communications Specialist, Laurie Schulte, to enter a national video contest creatively showcasing their approach to increasing participation and successful outcomes. Watch this video to hear a Minnesota "fishing tale" about the Bloomington Public Health program's success.

Home visits for prenatal, postpartum and parenting

  • Education and support for expectant mothers, new parents and families.
  • Assistance with health care questions, food concerns, counseling, child growth and development, parenting skills, asthma education and safe living conditions
  • Connection to local family resources
Greater Twin Cities United Way logo

Family Support Program

Public Health Nurses provide information and referral counseling for families/individuals looking for guidance in dealing with stressful family living situations or violence.

This service is funded by United Way.

Services for adolescents, pregnant teens and teen parents

Education, nursing services, and health counseling provided in the home and at community sites.

Early childhood development

Public Health Nurses provide these services to families in Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina and Richfield. There are no eligibility requirements nor costs to participate.

Follow Along Program

The Follow Along Program will answer questions you have about your child's growth and development up to three years of age.

  • Follow along is secure, safe and confidential.
  • You complete and send the Follow Along enrollment form by ONE of the three following ways:
  • You receive a development questionnaire in the mail every 4 months for you to answer. (Available in English and Spanish.)
  • You send the questionnaire back to Public Health by mail or fax. Postage is included.
  • Your questionnaire results are returned to you in the mail with suggested fun activities for you to do with your child.
  • A public health nurse will call you if there are concerns. If needed, your nurse will discuss choices for further evaluation or tips on how to help your baby's brain grow.

Help Me Grow

Do you have concerns about your child's development - your child's walking, talking, playing, or behavior? Our trained nurses go to family homes to discuss concerns parents have, observe and “play games” with the children to complete a developmental check. Based on those results, parents learn if their concerns should be further evaluated by the local school district.

  • Contact Help Me Grow Central Intake for services or information: 952-563-8900
  • For more information, visit

Food assistance

WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program

  • WIC helps pregnant and breast feeding women, infants and children to age five with vouchers for supplemental food and nutrition counseling. Peer breastfeeding counselors help breastfeeding moms.
  • The service is provided at the Bloomington Public Health Center and Richfield Central School.  
  • Call to find out if you meet income eligibility guidelines and for an appointment: 952-563-8993
  • Learn more about the WIC program.

Local food shelves

Fare For All Express

Keeping your family healthy and safe

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