Dr. Sahla Kallada
Consultant General Paediatrics
Mediclinic Al Noor Hospital
What health checks should my child undergo before the start of the school year?
No matter what grade your child will be in school, there is a yearly back to school check list to follow as recommended by international child health organisations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics. Your paediatrician plays a vital role in coordinating this.
The back to school health checkup is ideally done at least four to six weeks before the start of the school year so that if any issue is detected it can be addressed in a timely manner.
Your child’s paediatrician will do a comprehensive physical exam, assess the developmental readiness of your child for school, undertake a nutritional assessment, and conduct a growth evaluation which includes height, weight and body mass index and dental check-up.
In addition to the physical exam, there are recommended comprehensive back to school investigations such as:
- Annual anaemia screening by doing a complete blood count (CBC) test
- Urine analysis to look for asymptomatic proteinuria/blood in urine which may indicate silent kidney disease. This is based on your paediatrician’s risk assessment for kidney disease in your child.
- If your child ‘s weight falls in upper range as assessed by your paediatrician, she/he may request fasting lipid profile, random blood sugar and thyroid function tests to screen for any problems.
- Complete childhood vaccination record - it is important that your child is up-to-date on all vaccinations and has a vaccination record as recommended by DoH before the start of school. If your child is missing any vaccinations your paediatrician will recommend giving it to your child.
- Dental check up with appropriate referral to a dentist as needed
- Vision screening: if your child hasn’t had a vision screening by 4-5 years of age, it is highly recommended to get a vision check by an eye doctor as recommended by your paediatrician.
In this way, back to school readiness in a child is done in a systematic way which will help your child to transition back to school in a smooth manner.