School Health Screenings Information

HEALTH SCREENINGS:

Growth Screening (Height, Weight & BMI) – All Grades Annually

All students are measured each year for their height, weight and BMI (Body Mass Index) in accordance with Section 1402 (a)(3) of the Public School Code.  A BMI for Age percentile is also calculated which is used as a guideline to help assess whether a person may be overweight or underweight.    

Being either overweight or underweight can put a person at risk for certain health problems. A student who is overweight has an increased risk of developing serious conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and certain cancers. A student who is underweight has an increased risk for heart problems, loss of bone mass, and anemia. Underweight may also be a sign of an underlying eating disorder. 

Many factors, including sports participation or family history, can influence height and weight in children and adolescents. BMI should be considered a screening tool and not a definitive measure of overweight and obesity as the indicator does have limitations. For example, some athletes and serious dancers may have a higher than expected BMI due to their increased muscle mass, which weighs more than fat mass. 

Your child’s health care provider is the best person to evaluate whether or not his/her measurements are within a healthy range. Keeping in mind that this is only a health screening, please share the results with your child’s health care provider, who may suggest changes in eating or physical activity or may have other suggestions.

The CDC Website has more information regarding healthy weights: 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
 

Vision Screening – All Grades Annually 

All students are screened for vision problems annually in accordance with Section 1402 (a)(Act 404 of 1957) the Public School Code of 1949.

The purpose of our screening is to separate those children who probably have an eye impairment from those who probably don’t.  Our screening will not identify every child who should have an evaluation and follow-up care from an eye doctor, nor will every child who is referred to an eye doctor need treatment.


Hearing Screening – Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 7 & 11    

Students in grades kindergarten, 1, 2, 3 ,7 and 11 are screened for hearing problems in accordance with the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. 14-1402(a)(2).

The hearing test, as given in the school, is a screening test, and failure of this hearing screening test indicates only that the child should have a more complete ear examination.


Scoliosis Screening – Grades 6 & 7     

Scoliosis is a condition that occurs when the spine curves from side-to-side – often twisting the body – instead of front-to-back. Of every 1,000 children in the population, three to five will develop some degree of scoliosis.  While most cases are minor, some 27,000 cases each year may require surgery. Scoliosis is very treatable, though experts say early detection is the key to helping treat spinal deformities.

The purpose of school screening is to detect scoliosis at an early stage when the curve is mild and may even go unnoticed.  The test used to screen for scoliosis is called the Adam’s Forward Bend Test which consists of looking at the student’s torso in standing and bent positions to evaluate the spine. 

The pre-teen and teenage years – most notably ages 9-15 – are key times to detect scoliosis in your child.  During these important formative years, we encourage you to keep an eye on your child’s spine for any curvature issues.

The following websites can offer you more information on this condition:

www.iscoliosis.com

www.srs.org