The first day of class is closer than you think, and getting children ready for school takes more than filling backpacks with the usual school supplies. Have you considered what health requirements are needed this semester? Be prepared for enrollment with the following tips:

1. DO YOUR HOMEWORK

Research the health requirements for your child’s school to find information about suggested immunizations and whether a recent physical is needed. Look for the information on the school’s website or contact the school for details. If a physical is needed, have any required forms ready before visiting the doctor.

2. LET’S GET PHYSICAL

A pre-school physical may help uncover unexpected health problems. Specifically, hearing tests and vision exams can be especially important to your child’s success in school. Children with hearing or vision differences may require additional support in a classroom environment, so it’s best to address these needs before class begins to ensure your child’s ability to learn.

3. KNOW THE SCHOOL NURSE

Reach out to the school nurse or school secretary to review a few basic items to ensure they are prepared in case of an emergency. Make sure your child’s emergency contact information is accurate, and tell the school immediately if your address or telephone number changes. Additionally, give the school the contact information for your child’s physician and dentist.

Always notify the school about your child’s existing health problems or physical limitations, and be sure the nurse is aware of any current medications or allergies. Most schools require that the school nurse administer medications, so make those arrangements in advance.

4. START A SLEEP SCHEDULE

During summer, children often stay up late and enjoy sleeping in. Don’t wait until just before school begins to get them back into a sleep routine. Start implementing a school-appropriate bedtime a few weeks early to ease your children back into the school routine. A good night’s rest is vital to learning and may make everyone’s life a little easier in the morning.

5. SHARING IS NOT ALWAYS CARING

Sharing and interacting with other children helps your child’s social development, but sharing is not a good idea in all situations. Head lice and germs can spread easily in a classroom. Teach your child about the health risks of sharing clothes, hairbrushes, hats, or food and drink with others. It is also a good idea to give them a lesson on germs, how they spread, and proper hand washing technique. If your child is sick or has a fever, keep them home from school. A fever means your child’s immune system is fighting something which may be contagious.

If your child needs a school physical or is not feeling well, you can bring them to be evaluated at any Patient First center from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., 365 days a year – no appointment necessary. To find a center near you, please visit www.patientfirst.com.


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