Back-to-school preparation involves more than buying new clothes. Be sure to add your family's health needs to your checklist.
Summer seems to fly by! Can you believe it’s already back-to-school time? In addition to purchasing shiny new notebooks and special first-day outfits, parents should make sure that the following health-related items are in order:
- Current immunizations. Each state has immunization requirements and parents are generally required to bring written proof of a child’s immunizations from a health care provider or clinic before the child can enter school. View the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 2012 immunization schedules here.
- Vision and hearing exams. Poor eyesight or hearing can affect a child’s ability to learn. Many states require vision and hearing screening examinations before a child can begin school. Even if your state is exempt from these requirements, it’s a good idea to have your child’s vision and hearing evaluated.
- Emergency information. Would your child’s school be able to reach you quickly in case of an emergency? Who should the school call if they can’t reach you? Make sure your child’s emergency information card is accurate. In addition to phone numbers for nearby relatives or trusted friends who can help in case of an emergency, include numbers for your child’s doctor and dentist.
- Health problems and/or medications. Medical conditions or any special medical needs must be addressed with the school, especially if your child receives medication during the school day or has allergies. Find out what information you must provide, such as a doctor’s note or medicine dosage and instructions.
- Established sleep routine. Back to school means back to earlier bedtimes and mornings. Sleep is important for health and learning. You may hear some groans, but it’s a good idea to gradually switch to an earlier bedtime and rising time during the last few weeks of summer vacation.
To learn more about specific health conditions, visit our Health Library. To find a doctor and schedule an appointment or to get the answer to a health question, contact Brandon Regional Hospital's free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-327-2636.