As the end of summer nears, August reminds us that it is time for back to school. Soon it will be first days, fall leaves, and all things school. There are school supply lists, lists of important dates, but what about a back-to-school health check for students. Something to get them set up for success.
Here is a check list of things to make sure kids get a great start to the school year!
- Yearly physical exams – these should include a check on growth, immunizations (as needed), make sure than you take forms needed by the school. This may include sports physicals, asthma action plans, or medication at school forms. Be sure that any medications are refilled so that you don’t get into a pinch without medications. This is a great time for older teens to learn how to go to an appointment on their own. Just make sure you sign the necessary consent forms.
- Eye exams – many kids and teens that have trouble academically actually are having vision problems and just can’t see what they are reading. A simple eye exam at a local optometry office can save weeks, months, or years of frustration for your student. These should be done every 1-2 years or if there are any vision changes. Schools offer “eye exams” however, the school exams are just very basic screenings and not a replacement for a good eye screening from an optometrist.
- Dental exams – Dental exams are important as tooth decay and pain can lead to difficulty learning and focusing. Dental issues can also lead to chronic infections, headaches, and nutritional issues. Everyone should have a dental exam every 6 months with a good cleaning and cavity check. Starting these habits helps them to keep them in adulthood. This is another good time to allow older teens to go to appointments alone and learn to navigate the system.
- Help with anxiety – If your child or teen has concerns or anxiety with school, it is a good idea to have them speak to a counselor, pastor, or therapist about their struggles. Many kids and teens, especially since COVID, have had a hard time adjusting to school and an increase in anxiety and insomnia. This can help them open up and lead to a much more successful year. Older teens will do well with telehealth counseling but children 14 and under do much better in person.
Whether you have one child or several children you are sending back to school; it’s a big job! Making sure these health items are complete will help lower the stress and get everything in order. There are several life lessons for older teens here as well.
Amaze Health is happy to help with this in any way we can so let us know.