Importance of Health Check-ups in School Readiness   

In its broadest sense, school readiness involves children, schools, families, early environment, and community. Many noted experts suggest that no child is innately prepared for school. This is a multi-faceted concept that demands much more than just academic preparedness. Ideally, the school readiness of a child is based on multiple aspects of development, including physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development. Recent studies on early brain development suggest that early experiences, emotions, and relationships play a significant role in building neural connections that form the basis of learning.   

Along with many other factors, regular health check-ups can influence school readiness to a great extent. This can ensure a child’s physical well-being through the provision of monitoring nutrition and growth, screening for sensory deficits, preventive care, and timely treatment of illnesses. This allows teachers and parents to monitor and promote a child’s emotional development by providing behavioural guidance, modelling respectful communication, and addressing the risk factors. It is also possible to foster language and cognitive skills through early identification of developmental issues.  

Health screening is an essential component of school programs for preschoolers that ensure children’s health and safety. These check-ups allow schools to identify sick children and take appropriate measures to treat them and prevent the illness from spreading to other children or staff.     

Daily Health Check-up for Children   

Ideally, a health screening procedure should be conducted every day for preschoolers. This screening should be typically conducted by the teachers in the morning before a child enters the school. If there is a noticeable change in the child’s appearance or conduct, a check-up may also be conducted at any other time throughout the day. If a child remains absent because of illness, a thorough check-up should be done when the child gets back to school. 

These health check-ups aim to assess a child’s health by looking for signs of injury and symptoms of illness. In addition to physical health check-ups for signs of fever, sneezing, and visible rashes and sores, it is also important to assess if there is any change in the child’s behaviour, mood, or energy level.  

Benefits of Daily Health Check-up  

  • Allows for quick treatment and prevents the illness from spreading by early identification. 
  • Daily health check records can be used to identify trends in children’s health, which helps implement preventive measures such as increasing classroom ventilation or introducing more hand washing stations. 
  • Reduces absenteeism by keeping children healthy. 
  • Healthy children perform better because they find it easier to learn and retain new information.  
  • Early identification of health problems allows staff members to stay healthy by avoiding exposure. 
  • By conducting daily health assessments, schools can develop a culture of wellness. 

If a child falls ill during school hours, schools can support them by following these simple steps.  

  • Maintaining a daily log of each child’s health condition. 
  • Keeping a daily record of each child’s appearance and behaviour.  
  • Keeping the families well-informed about any noticeable changes in their child’s health or behaviour. 
  • Maintaining daily records comprising of the health status of each child, including observations, treatments received, and communications with families. 
  • Once a child recovers from illness, be sure to follow up with his/her family.  

If you have any questions about your child’s school readiness, please get in touch with our expert educators at Valley Heights Preschool Long Day Care Centre.