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Medical Exams Required for School Enrollment

Posted Aug 07 2009 11:19am

Does your state require that students entering public school have a comprehensive medical exam within one year before starting school?  Mine does (Virginia).  I’d never heard of such a thing.  It doesn’t apply to Samantha, but I saw it on the standard immunization forms her Montessori school gives out prior to the school year, so I looked it up.   This is above and beyond immunization requirements.  Before entering kindergarten or elementary school (public only, as far as I can tell), kids must have a comprehensive exam that screens for problems with:

  • HEENT (head, eyes, ears, nose, throat)
  • Lungs
  • Heart
  • Neurological
  • Abdomen
  • Extremities
  • Skin
  • Genital
  • Urinary

There are also hearing, vision, and dental screens required, and the child’s BMI and TB risk assessment must be recorded.

Worst of all, there is a developmental screen where the child is assessed for:

  • Emotional/social
  • Problem solving
  • Language/Communication
  • Fine motor skills
  • Gross motor skills

All of the results must be recorded by the physician on a form and given to the school.  In other words, to the government.  I was shocked!  Do you think that access to those records is kept strictly limited?  Check out paragraph C:

C. Such physical examination report shall be placed in the child’s health record at the school and shall be made available for review by any employee or official of the State Department of Health or any local health department at the request of such employee or official.

I’m not even sure what a “local health department” is.  Who are all these people who would have access to my daughter’s personal information?  How could I possibly hold them accountable?  The records might as well be kept in Wikipedia.

A quick Google search tells me that this is not uncommon.  It looks like at least Nebraska, Kentucky, Connecticut, Florida, and maybe many other states have similar laws.  What I can’t tell with the quick search is whether they require that the results be reported to the school, or if one just needs to submit proof that the child has had a medical exam.  Either way, the laws are another example of the nanny-state gone mad.  But the idea that, in Virginia at least, the government has this type of sensitive data for every person attending public school and that I’ve never heard a soul complain about it is mind-blowing.

Another good reason to homeschool.

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