Vision and Hearing Screening
The Texas Health and Safety Code requires that all children enrolled for the first time in any public, private, parochial, or denominational school or in a Department of Family and Protective Services licensed child-care center and licensed child care home in Texas, or who meet certain grade criteria (specified below), must be screened or have a professional examination for possible vision and hearing problems.
Acanthosis Nigricans Screening
The Texas Risk Assessment for Type 2 Diabetes in Children is a legislatively mandated program developed, coordinated, and administrated by The University of Texas Pan-American Border Health Office (BHO). The program assesses children who may be at high risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes in Texas Education Agency Regional Education Service Centers 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 11, 13, 15, 18, 19, and 20. During vision/hearing and scoliosis screenings of 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th graders in public and private schools, certified individuals assess children for the acanthosis nigricans marker, a skin condition that signals high insulin levels. Children who are positively identified with the marker undergo additional assessments of body mass index (BMI), BMI percentile, and blood pressure. Referrals are issued to the parents of these children, alerting each parent of their child's risk factors and encouraging further evaluation from a health professional. Becoming aware of and understanding what the risk factors suggest can help stimulate the changes necessary to prevent or delay future health problems for children at risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes and other conditions.
In 1985, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 832 which requires screening for abnormal spinal curves for students in grades 6 and 9 attending public and private schools. The school is then required to notify the parents if a child shows any signs of a possible curvature. Screening should be done during the growth spurt years, ages 10-14 years (Grades 5-9), to detect spinal deformities early. The screening requirement for children entering grades 6 and 9 may be met if the child has been screened for spinal deformities by a physician and a record has been provided.