Believe it or not, school will be back in session before you know it. Whether your little one is joining their kindergarten class or kicking off their freshman semester at college, their health will always be one of your top priorities. So what can you do to ensure your child starts off their school year on the right foot? We’ll discuss sports physicals, prescriptions, and more.
Back-to-School / Sports Physicals
For parents of athletes, the back-to-school physical is a must to ensure your child is healthy and physically able to participate in their sport or activity of choice. This step is so critical that most school sports will require their players pass a physical exam / sports physical a month to six weeks prior to the season’s kick off. In addition to assuring your child is in optimal physical health to participate in sports, your physician should also provide insight on the proper diet and exercises to enhance your child’s training regimen.
But back-to-school physicals are beneficial in other ways, as well, regardless of whether or not you have a sports-star in the family. In addition to routine check-up procedures, a doctor may ask about your child’s sleep schedule, study habits, activity, and emotional well-being tied to friendships and bullying. If you have noticed any mood changes or new bad habits, this is your time to get your concerns addressed. Issues involving behavioral development, allergies, anxiety, depression, and narcotics use might be easier to spot with regular checkups.
If your child is on prescription medication, you will want to check with your school nurse. This is especially true for younger children, who should probably not be the ones responsible for carrying and administering their medication. In most states, it is required that the child’s doctor and guardian provide written authorization for prescription and nonprescription to be administered on school premises.
Your child’s school may have set policies they follow to stem issues such as pill swapping or drug distribution. Be sure to ask about these policies and get a plan in place so that your child has reliable access to their medication.
Also, now is a good time to get refills on any prescription medication your child is going to need over the start of the school year.
While the summer heat will eventually break for the cooler temperatures of autumn, keep in mind that summer itself isn’t officially over until September 23 (and the weather in our area has very little respect for seasonal norms). Send your child to school with plenty of water and sunscreen, especially if they participate in activities that have them working up a sweat.
For those of you with children who are embarking into the world of higher education, you might sit down with them to ensure they have scoped out the area for the essentials. Make sure they have an idea of which area doctors take their insurance and that they know where to go in the event of an emergency.
Is it time to re-up your vaccinations? Maybe get that flu shot before the colder weather sets in? Now is the time to ask your doctor about these and other concerns. Call Advanced Family Medicine to schedule your child’s appointment, and we’ll help make sure your (and your child’s) bases are covered for the start of a new school year.