Thursday, June 24

Little Difference #25


Little Difference #25 - School Health Checks

Just when I think I've run out of differences one will stumble right across my path. This time one came home from school with Eva in the form of a letter from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Along with the letter was an empty test tube. I vaguely remembered this from last year, but it corresponded with my trip to Seattle so we basically ignored it.

Instead of trying to explain the letter, I'll just quote the important parts for you.

In accordance with the ruling of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg of November 1993 outlining the manner and frequency of school healthcare arrangements and examinations, a physical examination of the children is carried out during the course of the pre-school year and during Primary Education.

A fresh urine sample must be brought in the sample pot provided.

So many questions, right? What does the physical examination consist of? Just height, weight, hearing, vision? Or is it more like an exam a child would receive in a Dr.'s office - ears, breathing/heartbeat with a stethoscope, feeling the tummy? And the urine. The urine. By sample pot, they must mean test tube. What are they testing the urine for? Sugar? Bacteria? Protein? What can the urine tell them about a child's overall health? What if something is irregular, will they come back and tell us?

In Washington we test children's vision and hearing. It is always done by the school nurse and conducted when kids are in primary, maybe Kindergarten? When students are older, about 6th grade, the school nurse looks for spinal curvatures. Maybe this is just for girls. But urine? NO! That type of testing is left for the Dr.'s office.

Not only was bringing pee to school different, the test tube was as well. Um, for a girl it is a bit more difficult to pee into a tube instead of a cup. I found the thought of all the golden viles tucked into school bags, making their way to school pretty humorous - kids taking them out, handing them to the teacher. So much could go wrong. Am I right?

I asked Eva about the exam after school. She said the nurse measured her feet and how tall she was. Instead of pressing and asking for clarification, I just let it go. Feet and height. And urine. Alright, then.

Tell me about health checks in your school system!

Read all the Little Differences here.
And read about an interesting one seen in Italy here.


This Girl loves to Talk said...

we dont have any. Well apart from school dentist, my girls have nothing. we dont have nurses in schools in Australia. I remember getting the spine check in grade 7 and that may still happen (my girls are grade 4 and 2) but no other medical checks are done in school apart from immunisation in highscchool

suddenly sahm said...

color me speechless

Haute Goat Cashmere said...

just remember no poppy seed muffins on the first day of school...

We just go to the Dr. for the annual physical (and vaccinations) and have him sign a form. There are no checkups done at school unless there's a lice infestation.

likeschocolate said...

That is just too weird. What are they looking fro drug addicts at 7?

se7en said...

We used to have medical checks like this in school, oh about a million years ago: I remember absolutely refusing, at about age 4, to produce a urine sample... and they called my mother in... and still I would not perform!!! Nothings changed I veer away from any medical intervention. It is kind of creepy - but then again different folks!!! Our kids homeschool so no comparison for now... but I can't imagine what they would need all the data for - I am probably just "ever so" paranoid!!!

Road Trippers said...

Wow. I'm absolutely fascinated by this. Please, please find out more and pass on the new info.

Monkey's Mama said...

that is wacky! I wonder what on earth they are testing for - can't wait to hear

katy said...

This Girl: School dentist?!?! Immunizations in highschool?!? You have a lot to explain. Those are significant differences from school health checks in the U.S.

Haute Goat:Lice, yes how could I forget that?! It used to make my head itch for the entire day when the nurse came into my classroom to check the kids. In fact, my head itches just thinking about it.

Se7en: I was fully prepared to send the vile in empty. Wasn't worth weathering a fit to get a bit of pee.

Road Trippers: Think I'll ask the school nurse about it. Although the exams were carried out by a nurse from a government agency, I assume the school nurse would have some knowledge about the process. I'll post what I turn-up.

poppyart said...

how funny! i still struggle with the ziplock bag/ urine sample for the midwife every visit. it is just slightly embarrassing to hold your wee out to another woman who then proceeds to dip a strip of card. re school : i know other mums moan the fact there isn't a 'nit-nurse' anymore in england. (never experienced it myself). that is, someone who goes through classrooms checking for headlice. nice!

poppyart said...

just read some comments, oh yes, we had the mobile school dentist visit us. all equipped in a huge caravan, at least 2 chairs and 2 dentists plus dental nurses. butchers they were, too! in a small semi rural town in western australia, i think they were sent to practice on the kids. you would have your checkup/filling etc and then head back with numb face to class/ lunch and all the rest.

Dana said...

Oh. . . I have not seen anything like that here in Italy! My daughter begins elementary school next year, so I'll be sure to let you know if things change.

On another note -- in my American high school, tests beyong sight and hearing have been done in the past couple of years -- to include both scoliosis and bmi.

The Expatresse said...

My kids at the French schools here in Lux had to do it too . . . but we were out of town for one of the events, so that kid missed out completely. The older child was given the handy tip "Get the sample in the shower." Makes sense to me as that's where I would end up after anyhow.

Same kid said they were told to wear shorts or a skirt so the dr. could see the backs of their knees. Looking to see if their legs are even, apparently.

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