New requirement for first-time Georgia school children - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New requirement for first-time Georgia school children

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Lisa Thomas Lisa Thomas
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VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

Georgia children going to school for the first time now have to have a nutrition screening. The requirement will take affect in August at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year.

Children will receive the test at the same time they receive their ear, eye, and dental check. Health Department officials in Valdosta hope this new screening will help young children lead healthier lives.

"It's a screening of a child's height, their weight, and a percentage is done looking at the body mass index," said Lisa Thomas, South Health District Nursing Clinical Director. "That tells us the percentage of fat ratio versus the body mass [and] muscle mass for the child."

Thomas added that for the screening to be effective though, parents need to act on the results.

"It's to inform the parents that, yes, there needs to be a dialogue with your primary care provider about the direction that your child, health wise and [their] nutritional aspects, are going," Thomas explained.

The nutritional screening will require an updated version of the form 3300, the form used for a child's ear, eye and dental check prior to the child being enrolled in school. The updated version of the form can be found at www.southhealthdistrict.com or http://dph.georgia.gov.

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