Back pack, check. School supplies, check. New clothes and shoes, check. Haircut, check. Ready for school! Not so fast… Beyond the material things children need for school are other essentials necessary for a successful, happy and healthy, school year. Add these 5 things to your Back 2 School To-Do List.
Making sure children are current with all their check-ups is important to their health and academic success. Check-ups monitor growth, development and vitals signs, such as blood pressure as well as provide valuable anticipatory guidance. You don’t want to miss unnecessary days from school because your third grader can’t see the chalkboard or because an existing cavity starts aching. Preventing problems are what check-ups are all about!
Is it time for your child’s check-up?
- Yearly Physical or Well Child Visit
- Eye exam
- Dental exam
- Preparticipation Physical Evaluation (PPE) or Sports Physical/Clearance (Athletes)
During the check-up, you will discuss immunizations and if your child is up-to-date. Accepting recommended vaccinations is one way parents not only protect their children’s health but also the health of the community.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
- Vaccines are Safe
- Vaccines are Effective
- Vaccines Save Lives
Some children have serious medical conditions that the school should be aware of and be able to administer medications if needed. This can be lifesaving. Discuss with the pediatrician whether your child should have emergency medications at school. If so, have the doctor prescribe the medication and complete the school approved forms on how to administer it. In addition, completing a form called an Action Plan is also helpful for home, school or wherever your child might be without you.
I advise children with these conditions to have emergency medications and action plans at school:
- Severe allergy to a food or insect sting
In the world of medicine, early detection and early intervention are highly emphasized for better health outcomes. School plays a part in the health and well being of children. Therefore, recognizing and addressing any learning, behavior or mental health concerns are key to school success. Delaying only causes the child to fall more and more behind academically.
Whether your child is starting a new school or returning, I recommend sending an email or having a meeting with the school guidance counselor or psychologist to share any concerns and develop a plan of action before school starts or very early in the school year.
It is within your rights to request a 504 and/or IEP evaluation for these concerns:
- Impairment or disability
Stay involved to monitor academic progress. Private schools may handle the evaluation process differently or may not have the resources to address certain concerns. In this case, notify your school district and pediatrician for assistance with meeting educational needs.
After three months of summer fun, most kids are dreading going back to school. Ensuring a smooth transition can make all the difference in being ready to listen and learn on day one.
Start this process at least a week before school starts:
- Talk about going back to school
- Shop for school items together
- Start morning and bedtime routines
- Structure the day
- Learn a little
For a happy and healthy school year, parents make sure to check these items off your back 2 school to-do list!
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- AAP on vaccines
- Anaphylaxis Emergency Action Plan
- Asthma Action Plan
- Seizure Action Plan