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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.
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:
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.
These 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.
In 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 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.
The 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.
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