The Maryland Children’s Oral Health Institute (MCOHI) debuted Code Red: The Oral Health Crisis in Your Classroom at Dickey Hill Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore, Maryland. The book, which is designed to look like an apple, was launched to equip educators to teach oral health education. The initiative is intended to improve access to oral care and encourage children, starting at a young age, to appreciate good oral health. The MCOHI’s curriculum resource reference helps teachers incorporate oral health into their curricula. The booklet includes signs for recognizing oral health neglect and the consequences of leaving dental disease untreated. Teachers and student teachers were also provided with bulletin board resources, posters, brochures, and notebook decals at the launch for Code Red.
Congressman Elijah Cummings’ Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director, Ms. Trudy Perkins, offered remarks in support of the initiative on his behalf. Congressman Cummings introduced "Deamonte's Law" in 2007, a bill to increase children's dental services in community health centers and to train more individuals in pediatric dentistry. In his statement the Congressman wrote, ”By implementing initiatives like Code Red and partnering with our fellow dentists, dental students, teachers, physicians, school nurses, corporate supporters, legislative leaders, and government officials, we can greatly improve children’s oral health literacy in the state of Maryland.”
This fall, MCOHI will make thousands of copies of the Code Red handbook available at no charge. For more information about Code Red: The Oral Health Crisis In Your Classroom©: Empowering the Teacher to Teach Oral Health Education—A Curriculum Resource Reference and other programs and initiatives developed by The Maryland Children’s Oral Health Institute, please visit www.mycohi.org.