The 2014-15 school year will bring changes for children attending Georgia schools. Health department officials in Liberty, Long, Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn and McIntosh counties want to make parents aware of those changes now, before the end of the current school year.
Vision, hearing, dental and nutrition screening
It has been a requirement for parents to present a completed vision, hearing and dental screening form (form 3300) to school authorities for children entering a Georgia school for the first time. That still is a requirement.
However, the form has been revised to include “nutrition” as a category. This category measures height, weight and body-mass index. The new screening form is at www.gachd.org; click on the Immunizations and Vaccinations link under the quick links menu on the home page.
Children currently enrolled in a school pre-K program should not be required to complete an additional form 3300 for admittance into kindergarten.
New immunization requirements for seventh grade
Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, seventh-graders will be required to have the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) and meningococcal vaccines prior to entering school. Effective July 1, children born on or after Jan. 1, 2002, who are attending seventh grade and new entrants into Georgia schools in grades eight through 12 must have received one dose of Tdap vaccine and one dose of meningococcal vaccine. “New entrant” means any child entering any school in Georgia for the first time or entering after having been absent from a Georgia school for more than 12 months or one school year.
“These are positive changes,” Dr. Diane Weems, health director for the Coastal Health District said. “Measuring a child’s BMI at an early age will help identify possible nutritional issues and vaccinating middle-school students against preventable diseases will help keep them and our communities healthier.”
For more information on tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, meningitis or the associated vaccines, go to cdc.gov.