Health Screenings

  • What to expect on the screening day:

    • Screening is fast-paced, taking relatively little time away from classroom learning.  
    • Every child receives a personalized screening folder, which includes previous screening results.  
    • Health professionals and volunteers are assigned to each of the six screening stations.  
    • Each classroom starts at a different station and rotates every several minutes.  
    • After identifying health issues, we provide referrals to low- or no-cost resources that will best meet the child's needs. 

    What assessments are done at the screening?

     Score 1 Blood Pressure Narrow  Score 1 Dental Narrow  Score 1 Hearing Narrow  Score 1 Height Weight Narrow   Score 1 Vision Narrow
      Score 1 Vision Narrow

     



    Blood Pressure

    score 1 blood pressure

    Children's bodies change as they grow, so it is important to have annual blood pressure checks. If a blood pressure reading is found to be high on three different screenings, then a note will be sent home to the parent for follow-up with the child's physician.

    Blood Pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels. It can be measured with two numbers, systolic and diastolic. The more difficult it is for the blood to flow through the body the higher both numbers will be.      

    •  Systolic Blood Pressure: The top number, which indicates when the heart beats
    •  Diastolic Blood Pressure: The second number, which indicates when the heart relaxes



    Dental

    score 1 dental

    A dental screening can build a positive attitude in children towards dental care. The screening does not replace a thorough dental exam and cleaning that should be done every six months. The dental screening consists of: 

    • Brief visual inspection of teeth and gum health
    • Questions about brushing habits and any area of mouth pain
    • Looking for evidence of decay and gum disease

    The screening letter will inform parents about any problems with the child's teeth. Recommendations for visiting a dentist will be based on the dental condition of the child.



    Hearing (if applicable) 

    score 1 hearingThese screenings will be done with a pure tone test. The sounds are administered through headphones for each ear in a quiet environment. If all of the three tones at selected frequencies are not heard, a re-screening will be given. A brief ear exam will also be performed to assess any obvious causes for the hearing problem.

    Ear infections, earwax build-up, foreign object and repeated exposure to loud noises might all be reasons for hearing problems. These can happen at any age at any time, so it is important to have a hearing test at least every other year, or when concerns arise. Early identification and treatment of the source of hearing problems may prevent significant medical intervention later on.



    Height/Weight 

    Score 1 HeightIn this screening we measure height and weight to record a child's growth rate. Elementary school-aged children experience waves of growth spurts. We want to monitor children growing taller and gaining a normal amount of weight at a consitent rate every year.

    Height and weight are measured with shoes off. At this time, we also calculate Body Mass Index (BMI), a formula to assess a person's body weight relative to height. Age and gender are additional factors when calculating BMI. The results of this screening are plotted on a growth chart. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, BMI should remain less than the 85th percentile in order to decrease the chance of a child developing illness due to being overweight. If available, results of height, weight and BMI from the previous year will be mentioned on the screening letters.



    Vision

    score 1 visionVision can change rapidly after a growth period, which is why we suggest scheduling annual vision screens. The vision screen consists of tests for far and near vision, as well as an exam to see if both eyes are working together equally well (using the Random Dot E). If the results are 20/40 or worse in the far or near vision on two different screenings, a full vision exam is recommended. If a child does not pass the RDE or lens screening on two separate occasions, a full vision exam is recommended.

    If the child wears corrective lenses, he/she should wear them for the vision screening.

     



    Physical Assessment

    score 1 physical assessmentThe physical assessment includes a brief exam of the head, eyes, ears, nose, neck and throat, chest, heart, skin extremities, spine/torso and a basic neurologic exam. Any concerning find will be noted for the parent.

    If an immediate concern is found, an "urgent notification slip" is sent home on the day of the screening recommending early follow-up with a doctor.