Postural Screenings

Starting in January, the school nurse conducts a postural screening for every 7th-grade girl and 8th-grade boy. This screening can detect the signs of spinal curvature (scoliosis) at its earliest stages. Early treatment can prevent the development of severe deformity. Spinal deformities most often develop between the ages of 10 and 15 years. Nearly all cases are painless at first and are often confused with poor adolescent posture. Many cases are mild and require only ongoing observation by a doctor after the first diagnosis. Others become progressively more severe as the child grows and require active treatment.

The procedure for examination is a simple one and requires less than one minute. The nurse inspects the student's spine (shirt removed) as he or she stands and then bends forward. If the nurse sees abnormalities in the spine then the student will be rechecked at a second screening.

If the student fails the second screening then a referral will be sent home to parents recommending further evaluation from a physician. Connecticut law requires fifth-grade boys and girls, seventh-grade girls and eighth-grade boys to be screened annually in school. Please contact health services if you have any questions concerning the postural screening program.