Little Difference #25: School health checks in Luxembourg

Little Difference #25: School health checks in Luxembourg

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Sycamore Stirrings blogger Katy deals with one of the 'little differences' that makes life in Luxembourg so fascinating...and a bit mystifying.

Just when I think I've run out of differences one will stumble right across my path. This time one came home from school with Eva in the form of a letter from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Along with the letter was an empty test tube. I vaguely remembered this from last year, but it corresponded with my trip to Seattle so we basically ignored it.

Instead of trying to explain the letter, I'll just quote the important parts for you.

In accordance with the ruling of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg of November 1993 outlining the manner and frequency of school healthcare arrangements and examinations, a physical examination of the children is carried out during the course of the pre-school year and during Primary Education.

School Health Check

A fresh urine sample must be brought in the sample pot provided.

School health checks in Luxembourg

So many questions, right? What does the physical examination consist of? Just height, weight, hearing, vision? Or is it more like an exam a child would receive in a Dr.'s office – ears, breathing/heartbeat with a stethoscope, feeling the tummy? And the urine. The urine. By sample pot, they must mean test tube. What are they testing the urine for? Sugar? Bacteria? Protein? What can the urine tell them about a child's overall health? What if something is irregular, will they come back and tell us?

In Washington we test children's vision and hearing. It is always done by the school nurse and conducted when kids are in primary, maybe Kindergarten? When students are older, about 6th grade, the school nurse looks for spinal curvatures. Maybe this is just for girls. But urine? NO! That type of testing is left for the Dr.'s office.

Not only was bringing pee to school different, the test tube was as well. Um, for a girl it is a bit more difficult to pee into a tube instead of a cup. I found the thought of all the golden viles tucked into school bags, making their way to school pretty humorous - kids taking them out, handing them to the teacher. So much could go wrong. Am I right?

I asked Eva about the exam after school. She said the nurse measured her feet and how tall she was. Instead of pressing and asking for clarification, I just let it go. Feet and height. And urine. Alright, then.

Reprinted with permission of Sycamore Stirrings.

Katy HansonKaty likes to do crafty things, bake and write about her projects as well as her experiences living in Luxembourg. Read more about her family of four from Seattle and their Luxembourg adventure – including all those little differences – at Sycamore Stirrings.


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