Back to School

Published: August 25th, 2014

Category: Uncategorized

Returning to school after a long summer break can generate anxiety and stress among students – and parents. By covering the health basics early in the school year, you can ease the transition and ensure your children stay healthy.

  • back-to-school-shutterstock_107834843-537x368Update any changes to your child’s emergency contact list. Make sure the contacts are arranged in the order they are to be called. Also, include your child’s pediatrician and dentist on the list.
  • Consult your pediatrician or department of health to make sure your child is properly vaccinated. According to the Alachua County Health Department, students entering/attending kindergarten will be required to have completed two doses of the chickenpox vaccine (this includes any child who is retained in kindergarten.) All students in kindergarten through grade 12 must now have two doses of measles, two doses of mumps and two doses of rubella vaccine. See Immunizations 101 for more information.
  • Request a vision test from your pediatrician to ensure your child can see clearly. Routine eye screenings are a must for children because most eye diseases can be detected and treated early. Squinting or frequent headaches are the most common symptoms of unclear vision.
  • Provide the school with a list of updated medications your child is taking – even if the child will not take the medication at school. If the drugs are to be administered at school, they must be in the bottle. Consult your school about specific guidelines enforced regarding medications.
  • Inform the school secretary and child’s teacher(s) of any allergies, health problems or physical restrictions.
Note: When filling your child’s backpack, keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics advises students not wear a backpack weighing more than 20 percent of the child’s body weight. If your child has a heavy load to carry, consider a rolling backpack.