School Health Requirement Changes For GA Students This Fall - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

School Health Requirement Changes For GA Students This Fall

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SAVANNAH, GA -

There's a new health requirement for students entering the Georgia school system for the first time this upcoming school year. Besides getting the usual vision, hearing, and dental screening, form 3300 will also include nutrition.

This updated form will be used mostly for those who are entering pre-K and kindergarten for the first time this fall or for any new student to a Georgia school.

When seven-year-old Kaliyah Hendry went for her well visit at Pediatric Associates of Savannah she was ready for the hearing, visual, and dental screening. Nurse Manager, Raquel West, took one further step and used Hendry's weight and height measurements to get the 2nd graders body mass index.

"Her BMI is 17.1 which puts her in the 5th to 84th percentile which is normal and appropriate for her age," said West.

The BMI record is part of the new health related school attendance requirements for students entering a Georgia school for the first time.

"Obesity is a big problem throughout the south especially in Georgia and this will help at least track an obesity problem. The form notices if your BMI is above the 85th percentile, if nothing else, it brings it to the attention of your physician," said Dr. Ben Spitalnick.

Dr. Ben Spitalnick said by catching weight problems early on it's easier for kids to form healthy habits.

"A child who is obese at three, five, or seven-years-old is likely to be obese at 12, 15 and then throughout adulthood so if you can teach healthy lifestyles early they will continue on," said Dr. Spitalnick.

Nurse West said this information gets passed to the school nurse who can help track progress.

"Monitor what they are eating, what they are doing at school as far as activity, making sure physical fitness is part of the plan," said West.

Hendry's mom, Alicia Cannon, said the new requirement will help keep health in the spotlight.

"The doctors monitoring the kid's weight and everything, hopefully not only the kids will get on board but the parents will get on board and everybody will be a lit bit healthier," said Cannon.

There are also new immunization requirements for students attending the 7th grade in the fall. Students are required to have the Tdap and meningitis vaccines prior to entering school.

You can click here to learn more about the changes: http://www.gachd.org/services-list/immunizationsvaccinations.php

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