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health checks/screening tests at school

(47 Posts)
thisisyesterday Tue 22-Sep-09 22:07:00

are these done as standard in all schools?

did you consent to them for your child?

mankyscotslass Wed 23-Sep-09 08:34:40

These are done as standard in reception and I think year 6.

I don't have a problem with it, but I know some of my friends have refused consent as they feel it could promote weight/food issues with their children.

The hearing/eyesight tests are straightforward too, one of the children in DS class now wears glasses as a result as it's not always easy for parents to see there is an issue.

From my own experience of my 2 eldest at school, the children just get measured and weighed and no comment is made to the child, it's all very matter of fact and relaxed.

I think you can request to be present when the screening is done, if you want, although I have read on here that the school sometimes "forgets". hmm

Seona1973 Wed 23-Sep-09 11:14:59

I did consent to the checks and dd had them last year in primary 1 (equivalent of reception). DD was weighed/measured and a letter was sent to say the results were ok. She also had an eye check which confirmed her eyesight was the same as the optician had found (she wears glasses already)

smee Wed 23-Sep-09 14:22:26

We signed consent, but at reception level I can't see why you wouldn't really. They're basic non-invasive tests to check general health. Not stressful for the child in any way and a good way of picking up anything like hearing or sight issues.

mrz Wed 23-Sep-09 20:30:29

Parental permission is required although in my area the form says return it if you don't want your child to have the hearing/sight/general medical. Parents can be present but it's very basic takes a few minutes

thisisyesterday Wed 23-Sep-09 20:34:51

i know it's irrational i just felt really strongly that i didn't want him to have them done when ir ead the letter yesterday.

i can't quite put my finger on why, i do over-analyse things though and am probably thinking way too much about it
i guess i just don'tt hink they're necessary, i don't like the thoughtof them testing my child without me there, i don't like the thought that he may become distressed and i wouldn't be there, and i can't see why they need the information.

i know in the grand scheme of things it's to pick up problems that parents aren't aware of (or indeed problem parents i suppose), but in terms of MY child i don't think he needs them done.

that said, ds1 is the kind of child who will be very put out if everyone gets an eye test except hm lol

mrz Wed 23-Sep-09 20:37:58

You can be there if you want to see what they are doing.
Basically it's "shoes off aren't you a tall boy or girl? ... hope on my scales ... " done

mrz Wed 23-Sep-09 20:39:49

Lots of children in my class kept asking when it would be their turn because they wanted a sticker from the nurse.

thisisyesterday Wed 23-Sep-09 20:42:05

it was more the hearing stuff i was worried about.
he hates nayone doing anything to his ears

mrz Wed 23-Sep-09 20:43:45

They put on headphones and play a game ... tap when you hear the sound type thing ... and yet another sticker!

islandofsodor Wed 23-Sep-09 20:44:23

Ours are done by the school nurse visiting service (the person who takes over from the HV.) We are invited to be there and it is just a normal development check and they ask a few questions about general health.

mazzystartled Wed 23-Sep-09 20:46:32

DS came home with a list of things for us to consent to (including participating in traffic surveys lol...presumably this is to prevent the school having to ask for specific permission for anything again up to the age of 11).

I consented to everything apart from the health tests, to which I added a note asking to be notified when specific things were planned and that I would like to give consent in each instance.

Huge pita for the school I imagine, but for me its a combination of a few things -
1. feeling that my child's health and wellbeing is primarily my responsibility
2. stillbeing haunted my being lined up in vest and knickers in infant 2 and feeling ever so slightly humiliated by it...and having to argue the toss with some idiot regarding an eye test at 12 when I knew I'd had an opticians appointment 3 days previously;
and 3. a strong feeling that measuring every child's weight and height for a government is not really for their benefit at all

mazzystartled Wed 23-Sep-09 20:47:41

for a government database

mazzystartled Wed 23-Sep-09 20:48:34

for a government database

Sidge Wed 23-Sep-09 20:51:50

Why don't you call the school nursing team to discuss the screening and hopefully put your mind at rest? You can always arrange to be present when the screening is done.

The vision test is a simple 'look at the picture over there and tell me what it is'. They get smaller. The hearing test is non-invasive - children put on a pair of headphones and we get them to put a marble in the pot when they hear the noise. We don't call it a test we call it a listening game.

The growth screening is to check that the child is growing relatively normally along their growth curve.

IMO screening is very valid - we pick up a fair few children that need onward referral to audiology and/or the orthoptist, and less commonly need to refer to growth clinic. But I did recently refer a child who turned out to have a medical condition so that was worthwhile!

smee Wed 23-Sep-09 20:53:10

I know what you mean mazzy, but there are a lot of children who don't have such motivated parents. And even those that are uber caring can miss things. I have a very lovely friend, who I think is a fantastic mum, but she's currently in bits with guilt because the school eye check picked up that her daughter needed glasses. She hadn't a clue until then.

thisisyesterday Wed 23-Sep-09 20:53:19

mazzy, my feelings exactly!

i know there is nothing wrong with ds's height or weight. he already sees the dentist.
i was about to book him an eye test anyway. which only leaves the hearing.

i just kind of feel i would rather do it myself.

Sidge Wed 23-Sep-09 21:04:34

You can just consent for the hearing test if you want to. Not sure how you would test for that yourself unless you had an audiometer!

thisisyesterday Wed 23-Sep-09 21:05:27

i didn't mean actually do the test myself, just arrange for him to have one myself and take him for it

Sidge Wed 23-Sep-09 21:09:17

Ah I see.

Not sure where you could get it done, hospital audiology departments usually take referrals but you can't self refer. Some opticians do them for older people I think so might do them for children.

islandofsodor Wed 23-Sep-09 21:29:33

In our area you would probably just be referred back to the school nurse service unless you suspected a problem in which case you might get an audiology referral.

Would it make a difference if the checks were done not on school premises. For me it was more convenient that way and it is totally private, just me, the dc and the two nurses.

thisisyesterday Wed 23-Sep-09 21:40:24

i figured i would just go to the GP and ask for a referral.

islandofsodor Wed 23-Sep-09 21:47:39

But that would cost money wouldn't it. It would come out of the GP's budget and a consultant at the hospital will be more expensive than the school nurse service who are set up to do these things in bulk. My GP would be very reluctant to make a referral if there was not a suspected problem.

Not saying that is right, but I'm guessing that is the NHS set up.

TheCrackFox Wed 23-Sep-09 21:49:56

Mazzy, you could have written my post for me.

thisisyesterday Wed 23-Sep-09 21:50:16

i have no idea, but as myself and my partner have paid national insurance for god knows how many years i think we're entitled to it!!!

that's a whole other thread I know, but hey, a hearing test is a hearing test. surely doesn't matter where it's done??
i may still consent to him having it at school, but only if i am there

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