Pediatrician and Internal Medicine physician Sima Mistry, MD, has some advice for parents: A little attention to your kids’ health needs during summer could make starting the next school year easier.
“Getting kids ready for school can be a challenge for busy parents,” Dr. Mistry says. “To keep from missing required sports physicals, vaccinations and completion of school requirements, a little advance planning can help families avoid the back-to-school rush.”
Sports physicals usually happen before school starts or about six weeks before the sports season begins, which allows time for follow-up or further testing if needed. The sports physical appointment will include time for a detailed discussion of medical history and a physical exam.
Dr. Mistry reminds parents to make their kids’ sports physical appointments at the start of summer and to make sure they bring the required school forms to their visit. “Also, come prepared to discuss family history of illness, past surgery or injuries, current medications, and medical conditions, such as ADD/ADHD, asthma, epilepsy or diabetes,” she says.
Making sure that children of all ages receive all their vaccinations on time is one of the most important things a parent can do to ensure the health of his or her child, as well as the health of friends, classmates and others in the community. Summer is a great time to check with your child’s doctor and get any needed vaccines, while avoiding the inevitable back-to-school rush.
If your child is on any regular medications, Dr. Mistry recommends preparing a document that includes the medication name, instructions for administering at school, and other information that will help ensure that doses are correct and don’t get missed.
Dr. Mistry suggests that parents schedule an annual checkup for their child right around his or her birthday. “It’s important to get a comprehensive medical exam every year. A regular yearly physical addresses health-related issues, and doing it at the same time each year starts a routine you’re more likely to remember.”