After more than a year of school closures, virtual classes and hybrid learning, students and parents are preparing for a return to the classroom this fall. Your to-do list does not stop with pencils, backpacks and new clothes. You also need to prepare a back to school health checklist. Children need to be healthy and alert in order to succeed in school. That means you need to prepare for everything from physicals to lessons on germ warfare and COVID-19 regulations.

Here are five tips to get you started:

  1. Learn about school safety precautions and required immunizations. Different schools have different requirements. Many school websites have a page of health-related forms and requirements. These apply to COVID and non-COVID health issues.
  2. Your child’s doctor should perform a school physical. This physical can help identify health problems, including hearing and vision issues. Many schools systems require a sports physical to determine if it is safe for your child to participate in a certain sport. This is what you can expect:

    Medical History: This part of the exam can include questions on topics such as:
    • Family history of serious illnesses
    • Past and present illnesses
    • Allergies
    • Previous surgeries and/or hospitalizations
    • Past injuries
    • Past and present medication
    Physical Examination: This part of the exam can include:
    • Measuring your height and weight
    • Checking your pulse and blood pressure
    • An eye test
    • Evaluating the condition of your heart, lungs, and throat
    • Checking your joints, strength, and flexibility.
    If you do not have a primary care physician, you may walk-in any Patient First to receive a physical.
     
  3. Talk with your children about germs and how they spread. Teach the kids when and how to wash their hands properly. Also, make sure your children know what to do when they need to cough or sneeze. They should carry tissues or, if necessary, sneeze into the inside of their elbow instead of their hands.
  4. Children fall out of their school day sleep routine during vacation. Don’t wait until the night before school begins to get back into that routine. Ease your children back into their sleep schedule by gradually imposing an earlier bedtime a few weeks before school begins.
  5. Have a plan for sick days. Pediatricians stress that you should not send your child to school with a fever. A fever means the immune system is trying to fight off something. Your child may be contagious to other children and adults. Have a plan in place for last minute sick child care. You will probably need it before the school year ends.

We would love to learn what would be helpful on this page for you.

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