Back to School Checkups
It’s back to school time, and you know what that means! It means new school supplies, new teachers and most importantly, a back to school checkup for all of the little ones. If you have not done so already, this is the perfect time to get the kids scheduled for their annual physical exams. This will ensure not only that everyone is up to date on their immunizations, but also that the kids are well prepared for the year ahead and know how to keep themselves healthy.
Schools require that children be up to date on their immunizations for Tetanus, MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella), Influenza and Meningitis. Please confirm with your child’s pediatrician that all of these immunizations are current. Though it is not required, your doctor may also recommend the HPV vaccine for both boys and girls.
“It’s important that children come in some time during the year,” Dr. Jane Zhong of North Fulton Primary Care said. “Not only does this help us keep the immunizations current, it allows us to check general health and detect any potential issues early. We can also help the parents know what to look for and how to teach their children healthy habits.
Dr. Zhong maintains that the key to a healthy, happy and productive child is a well maintained schedule that includes plenty of sleep.
“Keeping a regular schedule is the most important thing,” Dr. Zhong said. “Parents can really help to teach their children time management. When you have a schedule for homework, exercise and sleep, children can focus during the school day. And when children have enough sleep, at least 8 hours, their immunity is stronger.”
There are also small habits children can employ to protect themselves and others in a school environment. For example, children can learn to cough and sneeze into the crease of their elbows rather than into their hands or in the direction of other children. A healthy diet is also a key component of maintaining health and focus in the classroom.
The annual checkup is also a great time for parents to voice any questions or concerns they may have about their growing children. Regular and consistent participation in physical exams enables parents and doctors to work together towards the shared goal of healthy, happy children. This also enables the children to build trust and communication with medical professionals that improves the quality of care these physicians are able to provide. These consistent and positive relationships help children to develop healthy lifestyle habits and maintain a productive relationship with their healthcare providers for life.
If you have not already, be sure to schedule your wellness exams today!