Health examinations in school health care, 5th grade
Extensive health examinations conducted in 5th grade consist of health checks conducted by school public health nurses and school doctors. The children' parents or guardians participate in the health checks conducted by doctors.
The health checks conducted by nurses consist of assessments of the children's health, growth and wellbeing as well as follow-up of earlier assessments. The nurses assess the children's general mood, adjustment to school and everyday life, and social contacts. They assess the children's growth and development. They promote the children's health by means of health guidance, and they strengthen and support the children's and their families' resources. The nurses go through the form fulfilled by the children (THL - 5th grade student preliminary information form), the health questionnaire fulfilled by the parents (THL parents of 5th grade students, preliminary information form) and the teacher's assessments of child wellbeing and adjustment to school. The health examinations are used to assess needs for assistance or further examinations in the transition to the upper grades of comprehensive school. National instructions do not mention examinations of sight, colour blindness or hearing at this stage, but these aspects can be examined if there is reason to suspect problems or there have been problems earlier. It is recommended that colour blindness should be examined at this stage.
The doctor's examinations are based on information gathered in the nurse's examinations conducted earlier. Doctors also perform clinical examinations. It is important at this stage to note the children's stage of puberty and assess their posture, because most children are still only entering the phase of fastest growth, and there is risk that minor scoliosis worsens rapidly during this phase of development. It is ensured that possible chronical diseases are appropriately treated and that the affected children have enough information about the diseases and treatment. Doctors discuss the family health and wellbeing with the children and their parents. Doctors investigate family health habits and update family wellbeing plans, which include a wellbeing assessment. They strengthen parenthood and the families' resources with regard to the children's phase of development. They pay special attention to the children's possible experiments with drugs, risks of social exclusion and other needs for special support. Doctors have teachers' assessments at their disposal, if the parents have given their consent that the assessments can be shared with doctors.