The Child Measurement Programme for Wales measures the height and weight of children in Reception class.
We want to learn how children in Wales are growing so that NHS Wales can better plan and deliver health services.
Public Health Wales is responsible for the coordination of the Child Measurement Programme and every health board across Wales is taking part in the programme.
While there was a slight fall in the number of children participating since the previous year, the percentage of children participating increased slightly from 93.3% to 94.1%. Over 33,000 children were weighed and measured as part of the programme.
Just over seven in every ten children have a healthy weight.
Reception-age children are significantly more likely than the Welsh average to be obese, if they live in areas of higher deprivation. The gap between obesity prevalence in the most and least deprived quintiles has increased from 4.7% last year to 6.2% this year.
The local authority area with the highest prevalence of obesity is Merthyr Tydfil where 17.5% of children are obese. This is more than double that of the local authority area with the lowest prevalence – the Vale of Glamorgan at 7.8%.
27.1% of children in Wales are overweight or obese, compared to 22.6% in England in this age group
If you are happy for your child to be included in the Child Measurement Programme, you don’t need to do anything. If you do not want your child to take part, you need to let your school nurse know as soon as possible. You can also request that your child is weighed and measured but that the results are not used as part of the Child Measurement Programme.
The School Nursing Team will measure your child’s class during the school year. To respect privacy, children will be measured in the quietest available area of the school. Your child will be asked to remove heavy clothes such as sweatshirts and shoes. Your child will stand on the scales to be weighed, and have their height measured.
Your child's information is confidential and will be part of your child's health record. A letter from the school nurse will explain how you can see your child's results.
At the end of the school year, the height and weight results are sent to the Public Health Wales Observatory who will analyse the data and look for trends at a local level, at a health board level and nationally to learn how children are growing.
The data is sent in such a way that your child cannot be identified by the staff who receive the information and are responsible for analysing it.
Anonymised data is also supplied to the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank and may also be used by other researchers. When this happens safeguards are in place to prevent children and schools being identified.
It is important that consistency is achieved across Wales in both measuring and recording results.
For information on requirements, processes and measuring technique, please refer to the CMP Standards (which describes what is required) and the Guidelines(information on how Health Boards will meet the standards).
Staff are advised to consult their local version of the guidelines, as these may contain examples of local letter templates, local processes, policies and guidelines (e.g. local processes for feedback of results, copies of local letter templates, follow up expectations, referral policies and other local resources).