Mandated Health Services

MANDATED HEALTH SERVICES

Every child of school age living within the Commonwealth must receive the following health services: the services are scheduled throughout the school year
 
PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS
 
Required upon original entry (kindergarten or first grade), 6th, and 11th grades. Examinations done by a family physician within one year prior to entry into the grade where an examination is required and recorded on a state form are acceptable by state regulations. Forms can be obtained through the health room or by downloading the Physical Exam Form.



NOTE: When a physical examination is not completed by the family health care provider, a school doctor will complete an abbreviated examination, after permission to examine has been obtained from the parent/guardian. The school nurse will notify the parent to obtain permission for the school screening. Parent/guardian will be notified when the physical is scheduled. The parent/guardian is invited to be present during the examination. The Private physical forms are to be returned in to the health suite by October 15 of the required school year.

 
DENTAL EXAMINATIONS


Required upon original entry (kindergarten or first grade), 3rd, and 7th grades. Parents are advised to have these examinations done by their family dentist because he/she is familiar with the child's past dental history and is prepared to provide any necessary treatment. Examinations done by a family dentist within one year prior to entry into the grade where an examination is required and recorded on a state form (Forms are available through the health room or by downloading the "Dental Exam Form") are acceptable by state requirements.

NOTE: When a dental examination is not completed by the student’s family dentist, a school dentist will complete an abbreviated examination after permission has been obtained from the parent/guardian. The school nurse will obtain permission from the parent/guardian and inform each parent when the examination is scheduled. The parent is invited to be present during the examination. Private dental examination forms are to be returned to the health suite by October 15 of the required school year.

GROWTH SCREENING

All students will be weighed and measured yearly in accordance with the PA state mandates.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health requires school districts to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI). This request is a result of the increased prevalence of overweight and underweight conditions in our population, especially our children. These conditions are associated with the development of chronic illnesses during adulthood including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and certain cancers.
 
For more information on BMI measurements, you may wish to reference www.cdc.gov (retrieved from http://www.panaonline.org/). See “ALL THE BUZZ ABOUT BMI” below to find some tips on how to lower the BMI measurement as well as links to other helpful resources (http://www.dsf.health.state.pa.us/health/cwp/view.asp?A=180&Q=242392).
 
What is BMI?  
 
 
You may have heard that this year, your school will be determining your BMI, which stands for Body Mass Index, in addition to measuring your height and weight. Below is some information that will help you to understand what the buzz is all about.
 
What is Body Mass Index? BMI is a calculation that uses your height, weight, age and gender to determine how you are growing.
How is BMI Calculated?
 
Nothing will change during your school growth screening.  The school nurse will measure your height and weight just like they have always done.  What's new is that those numbers will be entered into a formula and your BMI and BMI percentile calculated.
What will be done with the numbers? The school nurse will then send this information home to your parents/guardians and ask them to share this with your family doctor.  Your friends and teachers won't know your BMI unless you tell them.
Why is it good to know about BMI?  Being above average weight can lead to illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, breathing problems, joint problems and depression.  Plus, being above average weight as a child or teenager greatly increases your chances of being overweight as an adult.  Being below average weight can cause harm to your heart, kidneys, muscles and bones, and may lead to anemia.  A high or low BMI is just one of many risk factor for these illnesses.  However, the more risk factors you have, the greater the chance you will develop one of these diseases.
BMI - just 1 piece of the puzzle. When it comes to your weight, BMI is NOT the whole story.  A child who is very muscular, like an athlete, may have a higher weight and BMI but not have a lot of body fat.  Two people with the same BMI may have different body fat levels.  That's why you need to share this information with you family doctor.
 
My BMI is high.  Now what?
 
Talk to your parents/guardians and your doctor about what to do to lower your BMI.  Unlike adults, you should NOT go on a diet.  Eating healthier and exercising more can improve your BMI.  Remember, lowering your BMI to a healthy level now will help to prevent problems as you get older.  
What can I do at home to lower my BM
  • Eat breakfast every day.
  • Eat together as a family.
  • Food should not be used as a reward.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  • Encourage your parents/guardians to serve low-fat, low-calorie foods and snacks.
  • Limit your time watching TV, at the computer, and playing video games.
  • Get moving (physical activity).  60 minutes or more a day.  
What can I do at school to lower my BMI?
  • Talk to your school nurse or teachers about healthy eating and physical activity opportunities 
  • Watch what you buy from vending machines - make healthy choices.
  • Pack fruits and vegetables and whole grain foods in your lunch.
  • Fully participate in physical education classes.
 
VISION SCREENINGS:
 
All students in all grades have their near and far vision checked annually. First grade students will be also tested with the plus lens and color vision. Second grade students will be tested for stereo depth perception.  
 
HEARING SCREENINGS
 
Grades kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 7, 11, Special Education classes and all other children who are newly enrolled in the district or who have had a history of a hearing problem will have their hearing screening completed.
 
SCOLIOSIS SCREENING: 
 
The school law requires that a screening for scoliosis be performed on all students in grades 6 (during the physical exam) and 7. The purpose of the screening program is to detect possible curvature in the spine. If this condition is corrected early with appropriate treatment, progressive spinal deformity may be prevented. The screening test is very simple and can be performed in less than a minute. This will be completed during the student’s gym class. 
 
Should a problem be detected after the screenings or examinations offered by the school health program, a notice will be sent home recommending that the parents seek further evaluation and/or treatment. The referral form is to be completed by the your physician’s office. After completion of the exam the referral form should be returned to the nurse's office. 
 
We appreciate your assistance and support in helping us fulfill the state school health regulations. We shall provide all the above services to your child, unless the parent/guardian have any objections. Parents may notify their child's school nurse in writing to have student excused from any or all of the above health screenings. Please contact the school health room with any questions or concerns.