Back to School Health Checklist
Summer is winding down and the new school year is approaching. You’ve purchased the pens, notebooks and new clothes for your child, but are they on the right track to health this school year? Here is a checklist to ensure your child has a safe and healthy school year.
- Schedule a checkup. This time of year can be convenient to put yearly well-child checkups on your family’s schedule.
- Make sure vaccinations are up to date. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination schedules for children will help you determine if your child is due for vaccinations. Personal doctors can give further guidance based on your child’s history and risk factors.
- Restart ADHD medications. If your child’s personal doctor recommended a summer break from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) medications, discuss a plan with them for restarting the medication prior to the start of the school year so a routine is in place. Make sure to keep recommended follow-up appointments so medication effect can be monitored and the dose adjusted if needed.
- Organize your child’s medical history. Provide copies of your child’s medical history to their school or daycare provider. These records should include prescription medications, medical problems, surgeries and emergency contacts.
- Ease your child back into a sleep schedule. Start adjusting your child’s sleep schedule a few weeks before school starts. Encourage them to stay active during the day and get into a bedtime routine. Eliminate sugar, caffeine and late-afternoon naps to encourage an earlier sleep schedule.
- Start planning healthy lunches. Include a variety of vegetables, fruits, dairy products, lean meats and whole grains to optimize your child’s energy during the day. Teach your child to learn how to make healthy food choices when they are at school.
By taking these steps to secure your child’s health, you are leading by example. Children learn how to take better care of themselves when they see their parents being proactive.