Preventive Health Checks – A way to reduce illnesses
Children are our future and it’s our duty to nurture them into healthy and happy individuals. We think that regular health checks are important for adults once the reach a certain age, when the risk is more. The truth is that health check-ups are essential for children as well. With growing threat of chronic ailments, it is essential that we monitor the health of our children to alleviate potential health issues.
Identifying the problem early on, gives us better chances of treating them. Parents need to understand that health check-ups are necessary not only for adults but also for children. Kids spend most of their day at school, putting schools in a better position to assess their health. With proper training and guidance, teachers and administrative staff would be able to identify problems in advance and help keep them healthy. Parents and school together can shoulder the responsibility of developing a comprehensive health check-up plan for children to ensure their wellbeing on regular basis.
A medical screening program that targets overall fitness of a child should comprise the following:
Physical examination: Through height, weight and BMI (Body Mass Indicator) measurements, doctors determine if a child is healthy, underweight or overweight and also if he/she is falling behind on the growth curve.
Dental check-up: It helps to evaluate a child’s oral health. Dentist examines their teeth, gums, and mouth and looks for potential cavities, gum diseases or other dental issues.
Vision test: Children, especially younger ones, cannot understand or express that they have vision problems. They start believing that it’s the way they are supposed to see. Regular eye test makes it easier to detect eye problems like poor eyesight, blurry vision or double vision and color blindness. This can help children get back to receiving proper education. This is one of the examples where teachers are in a better position to identify an issue.
Audio test: Listening is an important part of learning. An auditory test confirms if a child can hear clearly or has any auditory issues. Here again schools environment is more conducive to determine any listening issues.
Immunization Record status: Immunization helps to protect children against chronic illness like polio, measles, hepatitis A & B and whooping cough. Immunization record check helps parents stay up-to-date with their inoculation.
Blood pressure and cholesterol level: With growing childhood obesity and a family history of heart disease, children might be at risk of cardiovascular diseases. Hence, it is imperative to get their blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked on regular basis.
Behavioural and Psychological Health: Due to growing competition, peer pressure and high expectation of parents, children suffer from stress and anxiety making it important to gauge their mental and emotional health. Teachers can play a vital role in identifying any behavioural changes that may be caused due to some other underlying issue.
Learning disabilities: Conditions like dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, dyscalculia, etc. are learning disabilities that many children suffer from. Parents may not even be aware of it. Teachers can help identify these problems through a process called response to intervention (RTI) and help the children receive the medical care they need.
These health check-up programs are a great way to gauge the health of children. They can help in reducing the chances of children falling sick. They can also help in early detection of potential life-threatening conditions. It is easier to treat an ailment at its initial stage rather than advanced. Through these preventive screenings, we can make sure that our children are healthy and any health-related issues are caught early.
Let’s not underestimate the power of prevention. As it is rightly said, ‘Prevention is better than cure.’