By Dr. Chris Zowtiak
St. Elizabeth Healthcare
As the summer days gradually come to an end, we understand the mix of emotions that arise as you prepare your child for another school year. The anticipation, excitement, and even a touch of nervousness can create a whirlwind of emotions for both you and your child.
We’re here to support you as the seasons change by providing an essential checklist to ensure your child’s health and well-being. Explore six important tips you can tackle before school starts to improve your child’s academic year and start them on the right foot.
1. Manage medications
Proper medication management is crucial to your child’s health and academic performance. Having a plan to administer medicines, ensuring an up-to-date supply, and communicating effectively with school officials will create a safe environment where your child can thrive.
2. Keep immunizations up to date
Keeping your child’s immunizations up to date is vital for their overall health and the well-being of the school community. Vaccines protect against preventable diseases and safeguard your child’s health. Talk with their pediatrician to find out the recommended immunizations for their age and follow the vaccination schedule. Also, be sure to discuss with your school if they need any updated documentation on your child’s immunization status.
3. Keep medical information current
Maintaining accurate and current medical information ensures prompt and appropriate care for your child. Allergies, chronic conditions, and emergency contacts should be up-to-date and readily available. Providing this information to the school, teachers, and other relevant personnel ensures they understand your child’s specific health needs. And then they can address issues promptly in case of any emergencies.
4. Develop an asthma and allergy action plan
If your child has asthma or allergies, work with their doctor and school to establish an action plan for flare-ups. Identify steps to manage triggers, handle symptoms, and administer medication if necessary. By proactively addressing your child’s asthma and allergies, you empower them to participate in school activities without the risk of complications.
5. Complete sports physicals
Participation in sports provides numerous benefits for your child’s physical and mental well-being. Scheduling a thorough sports physical examination ensures they are physically fit to engage in these activities safely with minimal risk of sports-related injuries. Encouraging your child’s active lifestyle while prioritizing their safety can lead to a winning sports season.
6. Get annual check-ups
Although it can feel like just another to-do in the school routine, the annual check-up is a really important opportunity for your child and their primary care provider to establish and nurture a positive therapeutic relationship.”
These visits play a critical role in your child’s learning to take ownership of their health and develop good self-care habits, which will help prevent physical and mental health problems down the road. “I encourage you to talk with your child or teen ahead of their visit about what questions they might have for their primary care provider. We relish the opportunity to see them each year and be a part of coaching them to a healthier adulthood.
Remember, the back-to-school season may come with its share of stresses, but with planning, preparation, and attention to your child’s well-being, you can ensure they have a healthy, happy, and successful school year. Prioritize their health by following these tips and give your child an academic season filled with growth, achievement, and cherished memories.
Dr. Chris Zowtiak is a family physician with St. Elizabeth Healthcare