It’s getting to that time of year when we put away the swimsuits and pull out the backpacks. As you start your family’s back-to-school shopping and getting ready for that first day, don’t forget about your child’s health. Making sure their health is in check for the start of the new school year is just as important as getting all the items on their supply list. Here’s a back-to-school health checklist to follow so that your child is healthy and ready for the new school year:
- Prepare for Good Sleep Hygiene: Start to get your child ready for their school schedule by getting them used to the same bedtime and wake-up time before school starts. Also, to help them have a good night’s sleep, remove electronics from their room at night.
- Get Them Vaccinated: Speak with their doctor to make sure your child’s immunizations are up-to-date. Make sure they get their annual flu vaccine to reduce their risk of getting the flu this school year.
- Organize Records: Get your child’s medical history records and emergency medical contact information organized and ready to be used if ever needed.
- Fill-out Medical Forms: Complete a consent-to-treat form and give copies to the school nurse if your child should ever need to go to the emergency department. The form will allow caregivers to authorize medical treatment and should include information on their medications, medical problems, pertinent family history and emergency contacts.
- Talk to the Nurse: Update the school nurse on medications your child takes and any health problems they should be aware of, such as allergies or asthma. Work with them to develop action plans and communicate these plans to appropriate contacts.
- Purchase Health School Supplies: In addition to new pens, pencils and notebooks, make sure to buy plenty of tissues, Band-Aids, hand-sanitizer and other first-aid items for your child to have on-hand at school.
- Check their Vision: Many vision problems may create barriers to learning. If your child mentions having trouble seeing or you notice them squinting or closing one eye to see better, schedule them an eye exam. To keep their vision healthy, make sure they have an eye exam yearly.
- Schedule a Checkup: Most importantly, schedule a back-to-school checkup so that they are in tiptop health shape for the school year. Their doctor will review any health concerns, their growth progress and make sure their vaccines are up-to-date for a healthy school year.