School success can be predicted at birth, scientists claim

The Apgar test, given to babies minutes after they're born, can reveal how well they will do at school, new research suggests

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A new study is claiming that a simple test, the Apgar test, given in the first few minutes if your baby’s life, may indicate how well your child will do at school.

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A recent study compares the school exam results of 877,000 Swedish teens with their Agpar scores. The findings suggest that babies with an Agpar score of below 7 could expect less academic success in later life than those with a score between 8 and 10.

The Apgar test is given to newborns between one and five minutes after birth, rating their health on a scale of one to ten and how much medical attention your infant needs. The test evaluates the baby’s heart rate, breathing, muscle tone, skin colour and reflex irritability (sneezing or coughing).

However, while links have been made between a baby’s Apgar score and how well he will do at school, it is important to remember that the test only determines health, and is not in an early measure of intelligence.

Indeed, only one in 44 newborns with a low Apgar score go on to need special education. “Most babies who have Apgar scores of seven or less do perfectly fine”, assures Dr Richard Polin, director of neonatology at Columbia University Medical Center and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Fetus and Newborn.

So mums, you’ve got no need to worry if your baby had a low Apgar score – there are many more factors that can influence and affect a child’s academic success.

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