On Thursday, March 18, 2021, parents of current students in grades five through eight received an email communication from the Clinic containing the following message and resources:
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 scoliosis and eating disorders on an annual basis to students in fifth through twelfth grades.
LINKS TO INFORMATIONAL DOCUMENTS CAN BE FOUND BELOW:
Scoliosis in Children – Orthoinfo (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)
Eating Disorders – What is it? (National Eating Disorders Association)
Eating Disorders – How to help (National Eating Disorders Association)
Both scoliosis and eating disorders are serious health problems that usually start in childhood or adolescence. The earlier they are diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.
Scoliosis (a curvature of the spine) shows up most often during growth spurts, usually when kids are between 10 and 15 years old. About the same number of boys and girls are diagnosed with minor idiopathic scoliosis. But curves in girls are 10 times more likely to get worse and may need to be treated. The more your spine is curved, the more likely it is to get worse over time therefore, early detection and treatment is key.
Eating disorders are about more than food, they are a group of complex psychological conditions that can lead to other diseases. Both males and females are affected and weight is not the only indicator of an eating disorder. These disorders can be life-threatening if not recognized and treated appropriately.
After reviewing the information attached, if you think your child may be showing signs of either disorder, please contact your primary health care provider or the Saint Mary’s Health Clinic at (804) 741-8790 for further information and support.