Student Health Information
Salem High School
Andrew Lewis Middle
East Salem Elementary
GW Carver Elementary
South Salem Elementary
West Salem Elementary
Scoliosis Educational Information
Scoliosis means a lateral or sideways curvature of the spine, generally associated with the rotation of the spine and rib cage. Scoliosis usually occurs in the mid-back or lower back. Scoliosis may cause impairment of the body’s range of motion and endurance, cause back pain, or impair functions of other parts of the body. Scoliosis screening means a postural screening process of assessment and evaluation used to identify students with spinal deviations at an early stage of development and to refer students for a medical evaluation. Early detection and intervention may prevent further structural deformity and resulting secondary problems.
Scoliosis runs in families, but doctors often don’t know the cause. More girls get scoliosis than boys. Of every 1,000 children, three to five develop spinal curves that are severe enough to need treatment. Scoliosis is often first noticed just before and during adolescence (ages 10 -14), during a growth spurt. Growth is the biggest risk factor for worsening of an existing curve.
What are the signs and symptoms of scoliosis?
- Uneven shoulders, one shoulder is higher and sticks out more than the other.
- One-shoulder blade that is higher and sticks out more than the other.
- Uneven waist
- Elevated hips, appearance of one hip higher than the other.
How is scoliosis treated?
- Most spine curves in children with scoliosis will remain small and need only to be watched by your health care provider through periodic checkups.
- Treatment decisions depend on your child’s age, how much he or she is likely to grow and the degree and pattern of the curve.
- Other possibilities for treatment of scoliosis include exercise programs, using a brace or possible surgical correction.
- Your child’s health care provider will determine the plan of care.
- If you have questions about scoliosis or your child’s back, talk to your child’s health care provider or to the nurse in your child’s school.
The Code of Virginia 22.1-273.1 requires that schools provide information on scoliosis to parents of students in grades 5 through 10 and/or implement a scoliosis screening program for students in grades 5 through 10.
On behalf of the Salem City Schools Local Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC), I would like to provide you some important information about Virginia’s low-cost or no-cost health insurance through Medicaid and FAMIS. Covered services include check-ups, prescriptions, dental and vision, mental health care, and more. You may apply online at coverva.org or call 1-855-242-8282.
FAMIS: Family Access to Medical Insurance Security Virginia’s affordable health insurance plan for children http://famis.org/
Randy Jennings, Ph.D.,
Director of Student Services
Eating disorders are serious health problems that usually start in childhood or adolescence and affect both girls and boys. With early diagnosis, eating disorders are treatable with a combination of nutritional, medical, and therapeutic supports. Recognizing the importance of early identification of at-risk students, the 2013 Virginia General Assembly passed a law requiring each school board to provide parent educational information regarding eating disorders on an annual basis to students in the fifth through twelfth grades.
It is important to note that eating disorders are not diagnosed based on weight changes as much as behaviors, attitudes, and mindset. Symptoms may vary between males and females and in different age groups. Often, a young person with an eating disorder may not be aware that he/she has a problem or keeps the issues secret.
Parents/guardians and family members are in a unique position to notice symptoms or behaviors that cause concern. Noting behaviors common to people with eating disorders may lead to early referral to the primary care provider.
Signs & Symptoms of an Eating Disorder:
- Chronic dieting despite being hazardously underweight
- Constant weight fluctuations
- Obsession with calories and fat contents of food
- Engaging in ritualistic eating patterns, such as cutting food into tiny pieces, eating alone, and/or hiding food
- Continued fixation with food, recipes, or cooking; the individual may cook for others but refrain from eating
- Depression or lethargic stage
- Avoidance of social functions, family, and friends. May become isolated and withdrawn
Again, with early diagnosis, eating disorders are treatable with a combination of nutritional, medical, and therapeutic supports. Please reach out to your child’s school counselor with any concerns regarding eating disorders or your child’s primary care provider. There are informational resources below for your review. The sooner treatment starts, the better.