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to kick up a fuss to get my son weighed at school?

(30 Posts)
leenasmom Thu 22-Jan-09 23:16:54

As a parent I have concerns about my son. The gp recommended that i get him regularly weighed by the school nurse as he is of school age so doesnt get a visit from the health visitor(uk). I contacted his school at the begining of this term and was told they didnt know when the nurses would be in. I got the number from the school for there offices and spoke to one of the nurses and voiced my parental concerns( was made to feel like a anxious mom) the nurse said they wont be visiting the school for one child which major ticked me off and she back peddled to say that because it was a new term she will inform me when they are next in the school. well today i get a school newsletter stating the reception class will be getting a health check tomorrow. so i was back on the phone to the nurses office to ensure my son was seen as he is not in the reception class. I was made to feel really small as the nurse i spoke to said because he was weighed at reception and i didnt get a follow-up he must be fine... i pointed it out that im concerned couldshe atleast moniter his growth on a few visits for my peace of mind(this was after I lost it and when she tried to fob me off). she went on about goverment guidelines if the child was born in a low weight as long as he is 'on the line' it is fine!! This ticked me off more as i felt she wasnt treating me/my son as people but like goverment statistic!! im upset because by the end of the telephone call I had got so upset that I started crying ...GOD i dont think it is unreasonable for me to want my child checked over when the worldis obsessed with over weight children and my boy is a skinny little thing that eats very well and healthly but looks so ill!!!

MaryMotherOfCheeses Thu 22-Jan-09 23:23:30

I can understand why the school nurses are reluctant to respond to individual requests.

If the GP genuinely thinks the school nurses should be weighing him, why doesn't s/he request it properly? Is that not how it should work?

Why are you concerned about your child's weight? Is he often ill?

cory Thu 22-Jan-09 23:31:39

It must be really hard, but a couple of things strike me:

the first is that at his age- why can't you just weigh him at home on the bathroom scales? if you have concerns you could get a weight chart from your GPs to see if he is keeping up with his curve

the reason reception children get weighed by the school nurse is to pick up on cases where the parents don't realise there is cause for concern

but in your case you think there is- so why do you need a nurse to weigh him? or measure him for that matter- why not do it yourself with a tape measure? (I know the GP said school nurse- but IME GPs know very little about how schools work and he may have thought there was a nurse on permanent call)

secondly- in what way does he look ill? if he is eating well, that does sound quite good. is he also playing well, not seeming overtired or always miserable? is it just that he is small and skinny? or do you have some other reason for concern?

thirdly- if you really think he is ill then it is your responsibility to take him to the GP, not to wait for the school to do something

fourth- are you sure you are ok yourself? you do sound very worried

leenasmom Thu 22-Jan-09 23:32:19

he is ill alot. He is so thin and he eats well so I feel really concerned as to where is it all going...when I say well he eats everything and anyhing he isnt fussy like children his age at all. good point about the gp not refering>..I think they work independantly because when he was off school and his attendence was low I had a call from the attendence officer and when I explained to him my boy was off school because he was poorly the school nurse phoned up to ask about his illnesses...
they didnt think to just check up with his doctors

Alambil Thu 22-Jan-09 23:33:04

Can't you weigh him at home?

savoycabbage Thu 22-Jan-09 23:36:04

I took my dd to the health visitor to be weighed at baby clinic. She just took the cradle-type thingy off and dd stood on the other bit.

leenasmom Thu 22-Jan-09 23:36:41

I do but what I want is them to see if he is gaining weight to his height...i might do what a previous poster suggested get those chart things to dot it myself.

cory Thu 22-Jan-09 23:36:59

No they don't IME- it's the parent who has to bring doctor's letters etc

Well, it seems to me that your main concern is that he is ill a lot and I can understand why that is worrying. Does your GP think his illness frequency is worryingly high? It is common for children in the early school years to get a lot of infections, though, so it's hard to say if this is unusual or not- does he also get very high fevers/frequent hospital admissions/pneumonia, that sort of thing.

About his weight, why don't you just weigh him at home, maybe over a period of a few months and keep that to show the doctor?

VictorianSqualor Thu 22-Jan-09 23:45:46

I volunteer at our baby clinic, our HVs, nurses and GPs are trying really hard to get away from weight and deal with each individual child on their life, appetite, exercise, metabolism etc.
Do you think maybe it could be because they feel he is ok?

leenasmom Thu 22-Jan-09 23:52:08

he was a poorly baby (his six next week) I missed his symptoms of pneomonia when he was 11mths old - i think that didnt help my morale on being a good mom... since then he has has breathing problems continuosly his had his tonsilitous done twice when he was only 2.5 and then again when he was 4. the gp had concerns about his chest growth and refered him to be assessed by a peadiatrition at the local hospital he was under her care for a year and concluded that this chest shape was 'normal' for my son as she measured it to his growth and said when he is a teen it wont be noticable...
hes got a d trait in his blood which makes his blood low in iron and recently he has been very thirsty and tired--gp had him tested for diabetes thanks god that came back normal(have family history of diabetes)

leenasmom Thu 22-Jan-09 23:56:48

I feel that he is never well enough for a long stretch of time... only today I was telling my brother that he is playing up alot and i do get stressed out but I noticed that when he does play up and does get told off or displined for it by losing his treats this is always followed by him getting ill i mean in a day or two he would have a high temp and will be bed ridden..

leenasmom Thu 22-Jan-09 23:57:40

he will be off school and will actually stay in bed not like my daughter who would venture down to the telly when she off 'sick'

Alambil Fri 23-Jan-09 00:50:19

My son is 6. He is about 4ft tall and 3stone 4lbs. I can see his ribs and his spine (he doesn't eat much tbh - dinner tonight was one mouthful of pizza and a slice of garlic bread!)

He is tall and skinny but I'm not worried (any more) because he's hitting all his developmental thingymebobs.

Could you give your son some sort of vitamin boost with supplements - that might help? Has the doc tested for anaemia - that makes you tired and thirsty IIRC

Other than that, I'd guess he's just got a low immunity to certain bugs and a high metabolism...

mummyflood Fri 23-Jan-09 08:21:08

Sorry, leenasmom, but if there are health concerns about your Son then I don't understand why they should be dealt with at school. Am surprised that your GP has suggested this. Surely this is a matter which should be dealt with by the Doctors/nurses in your surgery/clinic/etc? Not meaning to sound harsh/abrupt in any way, but I wouldn't be happy at all if I was told to have my Son weighed regularly at school - we have concerns at the opposite end, he is overweight for his age, which we have spoken to our gp about more than once.

I have been told by our Health visitors that nowadays they do advise and help on children over the age of five as they have realised that there is often just as much need for advice over that age, it doesn't stop when a child starts school. They also run many parenting classes/courses in our area for all ages including teens.

My feeling is that you should go back to your GP and seek more support for you both, obviously the school need to be kept informed if there are health issues which may affect your DS's schooling, but I do think that your specific concerns are not a school nurse matter within school IYSWIM.

ithinkimtallandblonde Fri 23-Jan-09 08:41:38

yabu, if your worried about his health checking his weight for height isn't really going point anything out. I also think that by taking him out of class to see the nurse with reception class your singleing him out. You sound very anxious. Which is understandable given his history but if there telling you he's fine maybe you should listen. Any concerns you have about his health should be checked up by the gp and refered, by him onto the school nurse if necessary.

ErnestTheBavarian Fri 23-Jan-09 08:44:53

sounds ike gp trying to fob you off. agree not a school issue.

how tall/heavy is he?

paolosgirl Fri 23-Jan-09 08:50:07

I was worried about my son's weight, but becuase I felt he was getting overweight. I was also told by the GP that he would get weighed through the school, which he was eventually in P7, and that it would be the school nurse, not the HV (or public health practitioners as they are known now).
Despite my writing to her in advance voicing my concerns I heard nothing from her, and so gave up on that avenue, went back to my GP and insisted they weigh him and plot this against his height. I'd go back to your GP and raise your concerns there.

sarah293 Fri 23-Jan-09 08:50:41

Message withdrawn

tortoiseshellWasMusicaYearsAgo Fri 23-Jan-09 08:53:04

Ds1 has always been very underweight, and the HV spoke to a dietician who suggested getting the school nurse to check his weight and height. Tbh she was more concerned that his height was where it should be. The school nurse didn't have time in the end, but the HV came over and checked him. He's fine.

In your case, I would be more concerned about your ds being 'ill' a lot, and I don't think that's really the domain of the school nurse. I would go back to the GP and ask for a follow up referral to a paed if you're that worried, and some investigations done.

As far as checking his weight and height over a period of time, do it yourself at home and keep a book with the details in.

memoo Fri 23-Jan-09 08:55:44

I know how hard it must be for you but its not really the schools job to monitor health issues. If you GP is very concearned then he should arrange for your child to be weighed. All GP surgeries have a practice nurse, all you need is a 5 minute appointment with her every month

cory Fri 23-Jan-09 08:56:26

Also, keep a record of how often he is ill, how serious (i.e. temperature, symptoms). I found it very difficult not having this information when I was referred to a specialist for my dd who seemed to be ill all the time.

juuule Fri 23-Jan-09 08:57:06

If you are concerned about your son's health then keep going back to the gp until you are happy with what you are being told.

Nothing to do with school.

It's a health issue and so should be dealt with by health professionals.
If you are really unhappy with this particular gp, maybe make an appt with a different one or ask to be referred to a specialist.

lilacclaire Fri 23-Jan-09 09:14:43

Me and my 2 brothers were really really thin when we were kids, its just the way we are though, we're really tall (im the shortest at 5ft 11"). The boys have bulked out now theyre all grown up lol.
Some people are just thin so I wouldn't worry too much about that, we were good eaters also (we can still scoff loads without getting fat wink)
I would just concentrate on making sure he is healthy, ie good foods, regular exercise etc.

Bubbaluv Fri 23-Jan-09 09:35:40

Leenasmom, Are you/your DH of slim build?
When I was 11 I was the average weight for an 8yo, but I was above average height for an 11yo. But I was fit as a fiddle, so the weight to height measurements won't necessarily be of any help to you unless there is a sudden drop or a long stagnation. My ribs and spine showed and my tummy was noticably concave until I was 16 (ahhh the good old days). wink
If there are health issues, I think you need to get proper medical advice regarding them, and only monitor the weight/height as a secondary focus. So, I'd ask to see a different GP if I were you.

helenhismadwife Fri 23-Jan-09 10:35:29

sorry to hear you are having such a stressful time with your son its horrible when they are frequently ill, very stressful.

it sounds to me like you gp is the one who is fobbing you off, if your gp is concerned and has recommended that you get your son weighed regularly then he/she should arrange for the practice nurse to do it.

Thats what my gp did no idea why he would suggest the school nurse does it when they dont attend schools very regulary

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