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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Is your child sent home a letter about their weight?

(17 Posts)
Louisaharvey1 Wed 06-May-15 19:00:19

Hi there,

I was wondering if any of your children have been sent home a letter about your child's weight before and what sort of thing it said on it?

I know in the USA they will send home letters to parents about their child's weight especially if they are overweight and I was wondering if in the UK we do the same?

I think in England our kids just get weighed at reception and year6? I'm concerned because I don't want them more susceptible to negative body comments as it is.

Louisa

slicedfinger Wed 06-May-15 19:02:46

We just got one in Y6. We were told in advance that they would be weighed and measured. We got a letter a couple of days later with the numbers and where it sat on a sliding scale.

Sirzy Wed 06-May-15 19:03:27

They only send out letters if overweight or underweight here.

as the letters are addressed to the parents I don't see how it would lead to the child hearing negative body comments though. What I would hope it would do is make parents do an honest assessment of lifestyle and how they can help their child.

CaptainHolt Wed 06-May-15 19:10:30

I have a very underweight child and the Y6 letter 'suggested' I discuss any concerns with my GP, or HV, possibly. The kids don't see the letters and they are phrased neutrally rather than 'Your kid disappears when they turn sideways'. No need to tell them what their weight is but they will probably know if they are fatter than their pals or not.

bakingtins Wed 06-May-15 19:12:35

We got a slip home on the day with the recorded weight and height, but you had to use the NHS website to work out the BMI percentile yourself. 3 years ago when DS1 was in reception we got a letter with BMI percentile and if child was under/healthy/overweight.
It's not difficult to input the numbers but I suspect the parents who will bother are the same ones who already know their children's weight is ok. It may be that a letter is sent at a later date if child is out of the healthy range, I assume the figures are centrally recorded.

slicedfinger Thu 07-May-15 12:19:55

Dd definitely didn't get a slip on the day, and was only vaguely aware of the actual numbers. Everyone got a letter here, posted directly to home, so no need for the child to know if that is a concern.

18yearstooold Thu 07-May-15 12:26:46

Dd has just had her height and weight done in year 6

The children weren't told the figures and the letters were sealed didn't stop them opening them as soon as they piled out of school though

Shootingstar2289 Thu 07-May-15 13:02:48

I've heard of schools weighing children and sending letters home if there were concerns. In my opinion, it's not up to the school to do this but a parents responsibility to make sure there children are healthy. Some children are naturally slimmer and some bigger but I guess that if a child looked starved or so obese that they've been over fed they mention it.

I know someone who has a daughter on the larger side to put it politely. She was 13.5 stone at age 10 2 years ago and god knows what she weighs now! Her mum does not help by giving her extra money each day to buy extra 'snacks' at lunch time on top of her lunch and for the walk home. Takes her out for breakfast at weekends and take away several times a week and goes mad at Easter (had much more than the average sized child at Easter). Surely the mum should know better?

I was told my 2 year old was borderline overweight by the health visitor. I know he's not overweight and is perfectly healthy. He is now 4 and is in 18-24 months and 2-3 years clothes.

Bunbaker Thu 07-May-15 13:08:49

"In my opinion, it's not up to the school to do this but a parents responsibility to make sure there children are healthy."

Here we go again.

The school doesn't do the weighing. It is usually a nurse or someone employed by the NHS. Doing it in school means that they can weigh all the children in one go with the least amount of inconvenience and cost.

The NHS needs this type of information so they can plan ahead. Yes, the parents should know better but there are a great number of parents who are clearly in denial about their children's weight. And, while we have an NHS I don't think it is unfair or wrong for them to carry out weight checks.

Louisaharvey1 Sun 10-May-15 12:20:07

Thanks everyone for your helpful responses

Millionairerow Sun 10-May-15 13:08:28

Yes only from the school nurse but didnt say one way or another if child under or overweight. Said it was for info only.

GobblersKnob Sun 10-May-15 13:14:08

Just tick the box that says you do not wish to give permission, all sorted.

lilli30101968 Wed 13-May-15 09:46:55

hello Just read your thread , I took my 11 years old daughter to GP on Monday being concern about weight and her belly he says not to worry too much let her carry on her excercise she will slim down and did mention BMI to him he seem not concern . I received a letter from school that she is overweight i am a bit confuse, she is very active dont know where i am going wrong do i need to go back to GP ? thanks

gemsio Thu 14-May-15 21:59:53

I had a letter just stating my DD'S height and weight, and that it was within the normal range.
it didn't have any graphs or scales, just "Normal" that was it. she is reception.x

Louisaharvey1 Sat 16-May-15 19:48:56

Lilli30101968

I honestly wouldn't worry if your daughter is active and eats a range of different foods then she will be fine. Children grow at different rates and one of the surest ways to become as an obese adult is to diet as a child. Kids usually even out and the BMI tool was never meant to measure individuals but to monitor population trends. It wasn't even designed my medical practitioners. I don't think you are going wrong. Trust your GP.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sat 16-May-15 19:58:44

In reception all of the parents who had a child who was over or under the norm got a letter home. DC1 is in Y6 and we've just had a letter asking if we want to opt out and saying that now all children will be given a letter instead of just the obese ones

meditrina Sat 16-May-15 20:08:52

This programme has been running since the 1940s and is an incredibly useful dataset for health planners.

The Blair government fiddled with it (essentially introducing the letters with your DC's measurements) which seems to have shoved it into people's consciousness rather more.

If it is properly carried out, the DC are not given any hint of their measurements, and all measuring is carried out in private. The letter is to parents, and you do not need to tell your DC what you know (unless you want to).

It's not really a precipitating factor in body issues (IYSWIM) unless you decide to make it one, by telling your child about their size in inappropriate ways. Opting them out is your decision, but if they are the only one in their class not measured, what conclusions might they (or their classmates) come to? Being the odd one out isn't always helpful.

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