Prepping for Back to School by by Charles Charles A. A. Welborn, Welborn, MD, MD, MPH, MPH, FAAP, FAAP, FACEP FACEP Medical Medical Director, Director, After After Hours Hours Pediatrics Pediatrics Urgent Urgent Care Care
Preparing your child to head back to school is not simple. There are clothes to buy, supplies to stock and, of course, the annual health assessment that most schools require. This annual exam is important as it may be the only time your school-aged child will see a health care provider in the entire year. It is the time to look in the ears and check the heart, as well as an opportunity to assess your child’s immunization status (and get that flu vaccine), examine the spine for scoliosis, assess any behavioral problems, or check for the many issues that a child-maturing body and mind can experience. This exam is especially important for homeschooled students who may not be required to have a health assessment.
Most children use backpacks nowadays. Not only ensuring the proper size and fit, but also teaching your child the correct way to wear a backpack will prevent many back and shoulder strains. For example, if your child uses a lightweight, canvas backpack, he should never carry more than 20% of his body weight – and should always use two wide, padded shoulder straps and a waist belt to help distribute the weight more evenly across the body.
If your child has a chronic condition, such as asthma or diabetes, it is important to inform the teachers and school health officials of the condition, even if
the illness is well controlled. Provide a list of any medications your child takes, even if they are taken only at home. Notify the school of any allergies or physical restrictions. Equally important is to understand what health services are available in the school. Is there a nurse or an advanced practice nurse at the school? What type of equipment is available to assess your child’s condition if he becomes ill? What tasks is the nurse or other staff allowed to perform, e.g. take vital signs or administer medications? Are you allowed to keep medication for your child in the health office? Knowing the roles and abilities of your child’s school health office will help you plan ahead if your child needs medical attention.
It is not uncommon for ‘little’ epidemics of minor illness to sweep through schools. These may include conjunctivitis (pink eye), strep throat, stomach viruses, etc. While some of this is inevitable, the occurrences can be lessened in two ways. The first: if your child is obviously ill, do not send him to school as you will only help spread his illness to the other students. The second: it is the school’s responsibility to send home any sick child in order to limit the spread of the illness.
Oakhurst Learning Center Serving our community since 1974
(727) 596-3411 www.oakhurstlearningcenter.com Pre-school (Ages 2 – VPK) Exteneded day for VPK Full and Half day programs Computer / Dance instruction included
K – 5th grade Before, After Care serving Bauder & Oakhurst Elementary Schools Inservice days and holiday weeks
Summer Camp with ﬁeld trips Hours: M – F, 6:30am – 6pm Highly qualiﬁed teachers APPLE Accredited Gold Seal School 13233 102nd Ave. N. Largo, Fl 33774
18 • August 2015
Say you saw it in the Gulf Coast Family Newspaper
Published on Aug 1, 2015
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