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Back to School Health Checklist

Back to School Health Checklist

Getting Your Kids Back-to-School Ready

With the summertime coming to an end, it's time to get your children and teens ready for the school year ahead! The health experts at CCH are here to share some tips to help you set your children up for a happy and healthy school year ahead.

Schedule Their Routine Physical

While many people find themselves heading to the doctor’s office when their little ones are feeling under the weather, it’s also important to take them to the pediatrician when they're healthy. After the age of 3, it is recommended that your child has a well-child visit annually until they turn 20.

What to Expect During a Well-Child Visit

When taking your child in for their annual visit, your child’s doctor will perform a physical exam. During this exam, the doctor will examine your child’s:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Vision
  • Heart rate
  • Listen to their heart and lungs

It’s also normal for your doctor to check that your child is meeting growth and developmental milestones for their age.

You can also expect for your child’s medical provider will also:

  • Ask about your child’s mood and mental health.
  • Ask how your child copes and handles family, friends, and school.
  • Take notes on your child’s behaviors, diet, sleep patterns, and social interactions.
  • Give your child a sports physical if they participate in extracurriculars.

The Importance of Wellness Visits

Children who have an established medical care provider experience the following health benefits compared to those who do not:

  • Greater immunization rates.
  • Fewer sick visits and missed school days.
  • Decreased use of antibiotics.

Most health insurance policies cover well-child visits. If you’re unsure about your specific policy, be sure to check with your provider for details.

Make Sure They’re Up-to-Date on Vaccines

As your children continue to grow, certain vaccines are necessary to help protect them from getting seriously ill with preventable diseases.

Vaccines for All Children

Children 6 months of age and older should all be getting the annual seasonal flu vaccine. However, there are age restrictions when it comes to the different forms of the vaccine:

  • Injectable influenza vaccine (IIV): Administered through a needle and is appropriate for everyone over 6 months old.
  • Live inactivated influenza vaccine (LAIV): Administered through a nasal spray and is appropriate for people between 2 to 49 years of age.

Vaccines for Babies

Babies between birth and 11 months should get the following immunizations:

  • Hepatitis B
  • DTaP
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b disease
  • Polio
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • Rotavirus

Recommended Vaccines for Children

Children ages 10 through 10 should get the following immunizations:

  • Chickenpox
  • MMR
  • Hepatitis A

Vaccines for Teens

Children and teens between 11 and 18 should get the following immunizations:

  • Meningococcal disease
  • HPV
  • Tdap
  • Meningococcal conjugate
  • Serogroup B meningococcal vaccines

If you have questions about your child’s vaccination schedule, be sure to reach out to your child’s primary care provider to see which immunizations are right for their age.

Instill Healthy Lifestyle Habits at Home

Children typically look to their parents and older siblings when it comes to developing lifestyle habits of their own. What better way to set your little one up for a healthy life ahead than to lead by example?

Physical Activity

Leading a physically active lifestyle is important when it comes to supporting your general health and wellness. From promoting muscle strength to helping your sleep at night, exercise can help to improve your quality of life and reduce your risk for health issues.

It is recommended that the average person should try to work in at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate-intensity physical activity each week. An excellent way to get your child into the habit of exercising is to plan family-focused activities. Some examples of family-friendly fitness activities include:

  • Bike riding
  • Basketball
  • Dancing
  • Fishing
  • Gardening
  • Nature walks and hiking
  • Playing catch
  • Playing tag
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Touch football
  • Walking the dog

Balanced Diet

Another important part of your health is paying attention to the foods you eat, making it imperative that your children learn how to build a healthy and balanced diet. Some excellent ways to include your children and teens in your meals at home include:

  • Having them pick their favorite fruits and vegetables at the grocery store.
  • Having them help you prepare meals in the kitchen.
  • Keeping healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, and seeds available.
  • Teach them how to read nutrition labels.
  • Teach them about portion control and serving sizes.
  • Minimize time spent eating out.
  • Opt for sparkling water over sodas.

By setting them up with these nutritional tools, your child will be more likely to make healthy meal choices when at school and out with friends.

Personal Hygiene

Practicing good personal hygiene is also an essential part of preventing the spread of illness-causing germs and warding off health issues. As your little one continues to grow, be sure to demonstrate the following aspect of cleanliness:

  • Bathing thoroughly and regularly.
  • Brushing and flossing your teeth 2 times daily.
  • Covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash your hands properly and often.
  • Cleaning the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Doing laundry.
  • Wash your bed sheets often.

CCH is open, safe and ready to see you.

With almost 80 physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners in nearly 20 specialties, CCH is committed to your wellbeing right here at home. If you have been putting off a visit to your doctor for a regular checkup, contact them; they can help weigh your personal healthcare risk and avoid further delayed diagnoses.

Visit www.cchwyo.org/findadoc to find your provider or clinic.