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Back-to-School Health Checklist

It may seem like summer just started, but school days are right around the corner. While kids try to squeeze the last bit of fun and freedom out of summer, parents are busy shopping for notebooks, new clothes, and shoes. In the rush to get ready, don’t forget to add a few health-related items to your Back-to-School Health Checklist.

Get a Check-Up

Before school starts, get a physical for your child. Start by finding the right healthcare provider for you and your child. Seeing the same doctor not only builds a trusting relationship, but also helps document growth and development.

Make Sure They’re Up to Date on Immunizations

Vaccinations save children from unnecessary pain, illness, and death. That’s why all 50 states require school-aged children to be immunized against various diseases. You can find out what immunizations are necessary by viewing this handy guide provided by the Children and Hoosier Immunization and Registry Program. To get shots, contact your physician or visit an immunization clinic.

Don’t Forget the Flu Shot

While not required, an annual flu shot can help protect your child from getting the flu or at least help lessen its severity. Millions of children throughout the U.S. miss school every year due to the flu. It’s best to get your entire family immunized before October, which is typically when flu season begins.

Get a Vision Test

While some schools may provide basic vision tests, it’s a good idea to have your child visit an eye specialist. Many children don’t even realize they have vision problems, but a professional exam can help determine if there are issues and can set a course of action, including eyeglasses.

Fill Out Medication Forms

If your child takes medication regularly, especially during school hours, you will need to provide documentation to the school. This often includes a note from a doctor and instructions on how to take the medicine. You may need a separate bottle to keep at school. But even if your child doesn’t take medicine regularly, it’s a good idea to fill out paperwork for over-the-counter medication just in case.

Watch for Allergies

A new classroom or new school may mean new allergies. Everything from chalk dust to cleaning agents can trigger allergies. Hay fever season usually coincides with the first weeks of school, so keep an eye out for pollen counts and have a plan in place if medications become necessary. Of course, if your child has a food allergy, make sure school staff is aware of it, including the severity and how to administer any medication, including epi-pens. If your child shares a classroom with someone with a food allergy, be aware of limitations and talk to your child about why some foods may not be allowed in the classroom.

Get a Good Night’s Rest

For many kids, summer means unpredictable sleep schedules. Before school starts, get your children back to the routine of regular bedtimes. To perform their best, children often need more sleep than you think. To help kids get to sleep easier and have a more restful sleep, remove screens from their rooms and establish a bedtime routine.

Reviewed by: Teykia Deveaux, MD, Cameron Pediatrics
Dr. Deveaux is now accepting new patients. Call for an appointment today at 260-667-5690.
For up-to-date Cameron Immunization Clinic hours and locations, call 260-667-5622.

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