Somerset children measured as part of national programme

During the summer term children in Reception (aged 4 and 5) and Year 6 (aged 10 and 11) will have their height and weight measured at school as part of the National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP).

The measurement programme makes it possible to monitor the growth and health of children across the country and in Somerset.

Parents have received a letter about the measurement programme and school nurses are running information sessions to answer parent’s questions. Parents can opt out of the measurement programme if they wish.

Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health at Somerset County Council, said: “It is really important that Somerset takes part in the National Child Measurement Programme. It allows us to monitor how healthy Somerset children are and offer support to families to help them achieve a healthy weight.

A letter will be sent to parents within six weeks of their child being measured to let them know which weight category their child falls into and they will receive guidance and information on local support if needed.

Trudi Grant continued: “Parents will be given details of their school nurse who can offer advice and support on achieving a healthy weight. Plus parents can go online to access practical advice about increasing physical activity and healthy eating at http://www.nhs.uk/change4life or visit the National Child Measurement Programme site at: http://www.nhs.uk/ncmp3.

“Parents may also like to explore http://www.zingsomerset.co.uk where they can find out about local activity clubs and get further support for the whole family. Small changes in what children eat and how active they are can make a real difference.”

Cllr. Anna Groskop, Cabinet Member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “It can be difficult for parents to tell, just by looking, if their child is a healthy weight or not because their height and weight are changing as they grow. We are giving parents lots of information and support so that they feel happy for their children to take part in the measurement programme.

“The National Child Measurement Programme is a helpful process for finding out about children’s health in the county.”

 

Ends

For further information, please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk

Notes to Editors

 

Children’s weight is measured using the body mass index (BMI). BMI is calculated by dividing their weight (expressed in kilograms) by the square of their height (expressed in metres). Their sex and age are also factored in. Each child’s weight category is then identified as underweight, health weight, overweight or very overweight.

 

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