This year, as the result of a state mandate, the Growth Screening Program becomes part of our efforts. All children enrolled in Pennsylvania schools will have their height and weight measured, and then used to calculate their body mass index (BMI). BMI is a screening tool used to determine whether a child is overweight or underweight.
Your child's BMI is based on the ratio of height to weight. BMI is reported as a percentile ranking based on the child's age and gender. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) created the percentile ranges to identify children who may be at risk for serious health conditions such as insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes) and heart disease.
Like all screening tools, BMI can produce some false positives or negatives. For example, a student may have an artificially high BMI due to a high level of lean body tissue or muscle, as may be found in a well-conditioned athlete.That's why it's so important to follow up with your doctor if your child's BMI is high or low.
Your child's BMI is strictly confidential and will not be discussed with anyone other than you and your child. Please share your child's BMI information with your child's health care provider. Your doctor or nurse is in the best position to evaluate your child's overall health.
For more information please see All the Buzz About BMI. Feel free to call your child's school nurse with any questions you have about the Growth Screening Program.
Other health screenings include:
Height, Weight & Vision- K-12
Hearing- Grades 1, 2, 3, 7, & 11
Scoliosis- Grades 6 & 7
Dental- K, 1, 3 & 7
Physicals- K, 1, 6 & 11