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About the Child Health CheckPoint

Research project

Welcome to Growing Up in Australia's Child Health CheckPoint

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 in Growing Up in Australia.

The aim of the project is to learn more about the health of young Australians as they pass through the ‘checkpoint’ between being children and teenagers. Its information 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 offered a health check to the child’s parent or guardian in the same session. We hope the data will help improve prevention and treatment of illness, and the promotion of health throughout society.

Growing Up in Australia’s younger children were invited to take part as the CheckPoint moved around Australia in 2015-16. The state-of-the-art health activities measure heart, lung, kidney and bone health, fitness, strength, vision, hearing, diet, activity and more.

The Child Health CheckPoint provides:

  • The first national data on heart, lung and other aspects of health for Australian 11-12 year olds and their parents
  • Insights into how children make a healthy start to adolescence - drawing on all the study participants have 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 enjoyed health activities and learning about their body!

Why a Child Health CheckPoint?

Over the last ten 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 gathered detailed information on the health of Australian 11-12 year old children and their parents. The data was added to the Growing Up in Australia dataset in early 2019, and we hope it will be used by researchers and policymakers for a wide range of research for many years to come. 

Visit Growing Up in Australia website to learn more about the study.

To find out more about the CheckPoint team, click here!