Call to rethink new Healthy Kids Check

And the findings provide more reason to rethink the new-look Healthy Kids Check, one expert believes.

Data on more than 4000 children from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children revealed that while the  height/weight and mood/behaviour assessments in the four- to five-year-old well-child check were moderate predictors of problems at 6–7 years, all other items were found to be poor predictors of health and academic outcomes.

“While screening of children’s health and development is important, screening tools need to have good sensitivity, specificity and effective treatments must be available and accessible,” authors from the University of Adelaide’s School of Population Health concluded.

However, those behind the proposed new three-year-old check, expanded to include a check on the emotional wellbeing of the child, insist that it should not be viewed as a screening tool.

RACGP child mental health