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Health Screening in Primary Schools

The school health team visits primary schools annually to conduct health screening of students.

Child's Medical Information

It is important that you provide your child's updated medical information prior to the school health visit. All information provided will be kept strictly confidential and will only be used by HPB in the management of your child's health^.

^The information may be placed into a database known as the Electronic Medical Records (EMR) System and the National Electronic Health Records (NEHR). The information may also be collated and used for national public health policy planning, ethically approved research, official reports and publications. Full confidentiality is ensured, i.e., your child's identity will not be revealed.

Summary of Health Conditions Screened in Primary School Students

Educational Level
Type of Screening Activity

Primary 1

  • Vision screening (Eyesight test)
  • 3D vision screening
  • Hearing screening
  • Growth & development assessment
  • Medical check-up by a doctor for specific conditions
    • Includes a check of scrotum (private parts) for male students to detect undescended testicles1
  • Immunisation for students who missed earlier doses​

For more information, please download theSHS Guide to Health Checks and Immunisation for P1 pupilsSHS Guide to Health Checks and Immunisations for P1​ ​pupils.

1Undescended testicles occur when one or both testicles do not descend into the scrotum, potentially increasing the risk of infertility and cancer.
Male students will be briefed by the doctor and nurse before the check-up is done. During the check-up, which will be done in an enclosed area for privacy, the student will be asked to remove his underwear and the doctor will check his genitals. As part of the examination, physical contact will be made with the male student’s groin and genitals as the doctor will palpate the scrotum for the presence of the testicles. If he refuses the check, the doctor will contact his parent/guardian to offer a choice to decline screening or to refer the child to HPB’s Student Health Centre where parents/guardians can accompany him for the examination.

Primary 2-4

  • Vision screening (Eyesight test)
  • Review of health conditions where applicable

Primary 5

  • Colour vision screening
  • Growth & development assessment
  • Spinal screening for girls only
  • Medical check-up by a doctor
  • Immunisation (Tdap/IPV)*

For more information, please down​​​​​load the ​SHS Guide to Health Checks and Immunisation for P5 pupilsSHS Guide to Health Checks and Immunisations for P5 pupils.

*Tdap: Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccination
*IPV: Inactivated poliomyelitis vaccination

​​Primary 6
  • Vision screening (Eyesight test)
  • Spinal screening for girls only2

Review of health conditions where applicable

2Before screening for scoliosis commences, female students will be briefed on the importance and process of the check. Each female student will be examined by a female doctor or nurse within an enclosed cubicle for privacy.

During the check-up, your child will be asked to show her back to the female doctor or nurse before being asked to remove her top and brassiere. Your child's back will be examined from behind while standing upright and while bending forward so that the doctor or nurse can screen for abnormal curvature of the backbone (Forward Bending Test). If further assessment is required, your child will be referred to the Student Health Centre.

Details on Conditions Screened

Vision Screening

Good vision is very important for your child who is learning and growing. Early detection and correction of vision issues ensure that your child's learning ability will not be affected.

School children are screened for myopia (shortsightedness). Your child will be required to read off a chart, from a pre-determined distance to check his eyesight.

If your child requires further assessment of his vision, an appointment will be given to him/her to be reviewed by either a qualified optometrist or optician in the community. Your child may be referred to HPB's Student Health Centre - Refraction Clinic to be reviewed by our optometrist. In HPB's Student Health Centre – Refraction Clinic, the optometrist may instill eyedrops to improve accuracy of your child's eye examination.

Please refer to Advisory on Vision Screening. This advisory provides information on signs and symptoms which may suggest that further assessment of your child/ward's vision is advisable.

3D Vision Screening

This test is done to find out if your child has normal three-dimensional (3D) vision. Special patterned plates are shown to him. If your child is unable to pick out the right images, he/she will be referred to the HPB's Student Health Centre - Refraction Clinic for further assessment.

Hearing Screening

Hearing issues may affect learning. Early detection and correction of hearing issues ensure that your child's learning ability will not be affected.

Your child will be asked to put on headphones and have his hearing tested with an audiometer. If he/she cannot hear all or some of the sounds, he/she will be referred to the Student Health Centre for further assessment.

Please refer to the Advisory on the hearing test. The advisory lists signs and symptoms which may suggest that further assessment of your child's hearing is advisable.

Growth and Development Assessment

The height and weight of your child will be checked to see if he/she is growing well. Growth charts are used to compare his/her height and weight with those of other children of the same age.

If required, a referral will be given for your child to be seen at the Student Health Centre for further assessment.

Medical Check-up by the Doctor

Health conditions checked by the doctor include:

  • Heart conditions (the doctor will listen to your child's heart for extra heart sound)
  • Slow growth
  • Squint (and other eye conditions)
  • For Primary 1 boys: examination of his genitalia (private parts) to check for undescended testicles (Refer to section i for details)
  • For Primary 5 and 6 girls; Spinal screening for Curved Spine (Scoliosis)(Refer to section ii for details)
  • Other developmental problems

i) Screening for Undescended Testicles

Undescended testicles occur when one or both testicles are not felt in the scrotum (where they are usually found). The testicle may be stuck in the canal that leads from the abdomen to the scrotum (the inguinal canal) or sometimes stays inside the abdomen. There may be an increased risk of infertility and cancer if the testicle does not descend into the scrotum.

Before screening commences, the male students will be briefed by the doctor and nurse on the importance and process of the genitalia check. Each male student, will be examined by the doctor within an enclosed cubicle for privacy.

During the check-up, the student will be asked to remove his underwear and the doctor will check his genitals. As part of the examination, physical contact will be made with your child’s groin and genitals as the doctor will palpate the scrotum for the presence of the testicles.

If your child refuses the check, the doctor will contact you and offer you a choice to decline screening or to refer your child to HPB’s Student Health Centre where you can accompany him for the examination.

ii) Spinal Screening for Curved Spine (Scoliosis)

Scoliosis is a condition where the normally straight spine curves to form an "S" shape or "C" shape. This is a deformity of the spine and should not be confused with poor posture.

This screening is for the Primary 5 and 6 girls only as this condition is more common in girls at this age.

Before screening for scoliosis commences, female students will be briefed on the importance and process of the check. Each female student will be examined by a female doctor or nurse within an enclosed cubicle for privacy.

During the check-up, your child will be asked to show her back to the female doctor or nurse before being asked to remove her top and brassiere. Your child's back will be examined from behind while standing upright and while bending forward so that the doctor or nurse can screen for abnormal curvature of the backbone (Forward Bending Test). If further assessment is required, your child will be referred to the Student Health Centre.

Please access this Scoliosis Information Pamphlet for more information on Curved Spine (Scoliosis)

Review of Health Conditions Where Applicable

Any specific conditions detected during previous school health visits will be reviewed in subsequent school health visits as necessary.

Please note that the school annual health screen provides screening for specific conditions only.

Do bring your child to see your family doctor if you have any concerns about your child's health.

Visit Parent Hub, for more useful tips and guides to give your child a healthy start.

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