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Identified health concerns and changes in management resulting from the Healthy Kids Check in two Queensland practices

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In reply: We thank Alexander and colleagues for their interest in our article. They query the low rate of detection of oral health problems and overweight and obesity. We are surprised that they question our failure to detect oral health problems, given that their analysis found this screening to be ineffective.1 Perhaps the general practitioners in our study did not embark on ineffective screening.

Our data show that the overall detection was 5% for problems related to height and weight. This might correspond to the 6%–7% of children aged 5–9 years with obesity2 (for whom action may be effective), rather than to the additional 15% with overweight.

More importantly, by viewing the prevalence of health problems in children as a general practitioner compliance and measurement concern, we lose sight of the bigger picture. Does the Healthy Kids Check detect problems that lead to better child outcomes? We do not know. This is a health policy that has been implemented without adherence to evidence-based practice principles. We agree — long-term follow-up is essential.