Health examinations in school health care, 1st grade
- Public service
The extensive health examinations in first grade include health checks conducted by school public health nurses and by school doctors. Before the first school health examinations, nurses receive reports from daycare centres, and they obtain information from family clinic monitoring, on possible school preparedness examinations, on speech therapy and on transition meetings held with daycare centres. School nurses invite children starting school and their parents or guardians to the health examinations. The examinations also can be organized in summer before school starts.
The first heath examinations are based on health questionnaires fulfilled by parents, wellbeing questionnaires fulfilled by teachers and monitoring information from family clinics.
School public health nurses assess children's physical and mental health. They discuss with families how the children cope in school, the children's moods and friends, and areas of everyday wellbeing. Health assessments are made with regard to the entire family wellbeing and especially the changes brought on by the children's new life situation when starting school. The nurses assess families' resources and care for their children, and they assess risks of hereditary diseases.
Children's growth and development are monitored by height, weight, posture, the advancement of puberty, sight, hearing and blood pressure. As necessary, nurses vaccinate children according to the national vaccination programme.
The extensive health examinations conducted in the first grade of comprehensive school include a doctor's examination, which usually takes place in the spring semester. Doctors perform clinical examinations and assess the results of screenings. They discuss with parents the families' health and wellbeing. They ensure that possible chronic diseases are cared for appropriately. They survey family health habits and prepare student wellbeing plans that include wellbeing assessments. School doctors have teachers' assessments at their disposal, if the children's parents have given their consent that the assessments can be shared with doctors.
If the preliminary health information is lacking, for example, in cases where children have immigrated to Finland only recently, the doctor's examinations are conducted as early as possible in the autumn semester.
To whom and on what terms
The service is free of charge.
In health checks for different age groups, attention is paid to issues that are relevant to each life stage. The child welfare clinic carries out an extensive health check on each child at the age of four months, 18 months and four years. The checks address aspects related to the child’s health, growth and development and any special needs.
Extensive health checks are organised for schoolchildren in the first, fifth and eight grade. In addition to the growth and development of the child or young person, the well-being of the entire family is assessed in the check. Health checks organised by student health care services focus on the student’s health and well-being as well as other aspects that affect their studies as a whole.
Older persons are offered health checks at the health centre. In addition to a basic check, the older person’s memory, functional capacity, alertness and capacity to cope independently coping can be examined.