Back to School: A Pediatrician’s Tips for a Great Year
The back to school season typically includes shopping for the latest and greatest clothes and shoes to ensure your child looks stylish from day one. But what about his health? We recommend that parents schedule well child visits with the family pediatrician before sports tryouts and classes begin. Read on to learn why the pediatricians at Woodburn Pediatric Clinic recommend these wellness visits, and what they entail for you and your child.
Many children are involved in extracurricular activities. Football, volleyball, soccer, cross-country, cheerleading, and many other sports, require students to complete a physical exam before they can even try out. You’ll want to schedule the exam well before school starts to ensure your child doesn’t miss tryouts or practices at the beginning of the season.
A physical exam covers health basics and monitors your child for heart issues, blood pressure, thyroid issues, diabetes, and weight. Oftentimes your family pediatrician will discuss proper nutrition and exercise with your child at this exam, as well as the importance of getting enough sleep nightly. This is a good opportunity for you and your child to discuss any concerns you may have with your doctor, such as depression, peer pressure, self-esteem, spending too much time on social media, or difficulty making friends and relating to peers.
Immunizations and boosters are vital to a child’s health. Most Oregon schools won’t admit students without an up-to-date immunization record on file the first day of school, so it’s important that you visit your pediatrician and ensure that your child is up to date. Your school district will advise you of the necessary vaccinations for each age group or grade, and you can find the recommended vaccination schedule on the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) website. The most common vaccines your child will need include Hepatitis B; Polio; Tetanus; Chickenpox; and Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR). A flu shot is also sometimes required and often advised.
Your child’s wellness visit will also include an eye test to examine the health of the eye and to test your child’s vision. Your pediatrician will determine whether your child has any vision problems such as difficulty reading from far away, which makes reading the whiteboard in class difficult, or whether he only has vision in one eye. Proper vision is crucial to success in the classroom, and allows children to safely explore the world around them. Some schools do testing during the year, but an exam by your doctor before the school year begins is a wise decision.
Getting ready for the new school year is always hectic and exciting. Help your child get off to a great start this fall with a well child visit with your family pediatrician. If you have questions about your child’s health needs or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today at Woodburn Pediatric Clinic.