Return to Headlines

Spinal Screening


Spinal Screening for all 5th grade girls will be scheduled for Fall 2020.

House Bill 1076 passed by the Texas Legislature in 2017 requires spinal screening of all students during specific ages. Girls will be screened two times, once at age 10 (or fall semester of grade 5) and again at age 12 (or fall semester of grade 7) and boys will be screened one time at age 13 or 14 (or fall semester of grade 8). The purpose of spinal screening is to detect the signs of abnormal curves of the spine at their earliest stages so that the need for treatment can be determined. Scoliosis, a common spinal abnormality found in adolescents, is a sideways twisting of the spine. It is usually detected in children between 10 and 14 years of age. Kyphosis, sometimes called round back, is an exaggerated rounding of the upper back and is often confused with poor posture. Many cases of curvature of the spine are mild and require only ongoing observation by a physician. Others can worsen with time as the child grows and require active treatment such as bracing and surgery. Early treatment can prevent the development of a severe deformity which can affect a person’s appearance and health.

Nurse Patton has been specially trained as a screener, and will look at your child’s back while she stands and then bends forward. For this examination, girls will be screened individually. To properly screen for spinal abnormalities, all students must remove their shirt for this exam. This allows the school nurse to better visualize the spine. For this reason, females are requested to wear a halter/sport/tube top or a swimsuit top underneath their shirt on exam day.

Parents will be notified of the screening results only if professional follow-up by a physician is necessary. This screening procedure does not replace your child’s need for regular health care and check-ups.

If your child is currently under a physician’s care for scoliosis, kyphosis, or other spinal abnormalities, please submit a parent note prior to the screening date. A physician’s statement is required prior to the screening date or as soon as possible thereafter in order to verify that your child is receiving on-going treatment. This information will be placed in your student’s health record. If, for religious reasons, you do not wish to have your child screened, you are to submit an affidavit of religious exemption to the School Nurse prior to the screening.

Please call Nurse Patton at 210-407-8221 if you would like more information.