Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC)
The Child Health CheckPoint is a new phase of the Growing Up in Australia study. It is a special one-off physical health assessment offered to the 11-12 year old children participating in Growing Up in Australia.
The aim of the study is to learn more about the health of young Australians as they pass through the 'checkpoint' between childhood and adolescence. Information from the study will help researchers and policy-makers understand how a child's first decade determines their health as they approach the teenage years.
Because health issues can run in families, we also offer a health check to the child's parent or guardian in the same session. We hope the data gathered will help improve prevention and treatment of illness, and promote good health throughout society.
Growing Up in Australia's younger children are invited to take part, as the CheckPoint moves around Australia in 2014-15. The advanced health activities measure heart, lung, kidney health, bone health, fitness, strength, vision, hearing, diet, activity and more.
The Child Health CheckPoint will provide:
- A snapshot of children's health for their family to keep
- The first national data on heart, lung and other aspects of health for Australian 11-12 year olds
- Insights into how children make a healthy start to adolescence - drawing on all you've told us over the last decade
- Vital information on how pre-teen health paves the way to adult health and illness
- We also hope the children enjoy the health activities and learning about their body!
Why a Child Health CheckPoint for Growing Up In Australia?
Over the last 10 years, the families in Growing Up in Australia have told us so much about themselves and their child - right since he or she was a baby. These early years build the foundations of good health for life. We are lucky in Australia that most children are healthy. Unfortunately, Australian adults still have high rates of heart and lung disease, diabetes, and many other problems.
By 11-12 years of age, children already show wide variations in their health measurements. Just like height and weight, measures such as blood pressure, lung function and blood cholesterol also vary between children even when they are fit and well. These 'normal' differences can predict future adult health. So can children's existing health problems, like asthma, obesity, and poor vision.
The Child Health CheckPoint is gathering detailed information on the health of Australian 11-12 year old children and their parents. This will support a wide range of research for many years to. When the data is added to Growing Up in Australia, researchers can study how parent and guardian health and early life shape children's current and future health.
- Melissa Wake, Susan Clifford, Elissa York and Sarah Davies, and the Child Health CheckPoint team (John Carlin, Fiona Mensah, Lisa Gold, Sarath Ranganathan, Timothy Olds, David Burgner, Michael Cheung, Michael Sawyer, Terence Dwyer, Ben Edwards, Helen Rogers, Louise Baur, Steve Zubrick, Tien Wong, Richard Saffery, Peter Azzopardi, Luke Stevens). Introducing Growing Up in Australia's Child Health CheckPoint: A physical and biomarkers module for the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Family Matters 2014 (in press).
- Lisa Gold, Sarah Carr, Susan Clifford, Lynn Koyama & Melissa Wake. Australian children's use of health and other services. LSAC Annual Statistical Report 2013. Invited paper, submitted 7 April 2014.