Security and Safety

Back-to-School Health Checkups Your Kids Need

By Staci Parks 6.25.18

Back-to-school prep is about more than just shopping for clothes and gathering supplies. Overall health checkups are as essential as pencils and paper. They allow parents to get ahead of potential sick days and pinpoint any developing health issues their child may have.

It’s a good idea for parents to get a head start on these checkups about a month before school resumes. So, where do you start?

What You Need to Know

If your child is attending school for the first time, make sure you know what vaccinations they will need. Texas requires K­–12 students to have these immunizations.

If your child is switching schools, consider reviewing their previous vaccinations to ensure they are not missing one.

What to Cover

When you’re planning doctor’s appointments, think about asking for these kinds of exams and vaccinations:

  • Overall physicals ensure your child is on a path of healthy development for their age and help screen for scoliosis as well as blood pressure and heart rate issues. These screenings are a necessity if your child will be involved in a physically demanding activity such as football or soccer.
  • Flu vaccines are something to consider. Last year’s flu season claimed the lives of 2,300 Texans; and younger children are more susceptible to flu-related complications.
  • Ear, nose and throat exams are important for children who snore or have allergies. They also help screen for potential hearing loss.
  • Dental exams are about more than just teeth and gums (not that they aren’t important: cavities affect about 20 percent of children ages 5 to 11 each year). Dental exams can also detect oral issues linked to health concerns such as diabetes, asthma, and obesity.

Set Your Kids Up for Success

It’s easy to let the formality of routine slip during the summer months. But reestablishing some good habits in the weeks before school starts will make the transition a little easier. Having a somewhat predictable sleep schedule is a good place to start. Also consider introducing limitations on video games, iPads, and television — habits that can be hard to break once the kids are back in school.

Create Space for Mindfulness

While you’re at it, create a designated homework space. It can be difficult to transition from summer fun to structured assignments. Make it a fun activity by involving your young scholars. They’ll be the ones benefiting the most from this space.

Try these healthy after-school snacks for your kids.

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