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Back to School Health Checklist

August 06, 2018

The summer season is still in full swing, but it's not too early to be thinking about your child's back to school needs. While a new backpack, school supplies, and lunchbox may all be top of mind, it's important to remember check off important health-related boxes, too! Here are some tips to ensure your child is ready to take on the new school year.

Schedule a check-up or pre-sports physical if needed

Your child's pediatrician doesn't just focus on one specific issue. Rather, they focus on keeping your child healthy and strong school year after year, all the way through adolescence. They play an important role as the central point of contact for all things related to your child's health.

Stay up to date on vaccinations

Vaccines help prevent thousands of illnesses in the US every year, and it's important to stay up-to-date to protect your children and those around them from serious diseases. Starting in kindergarten and through 12th grade, students in Massachusetts must stay up to date on vaccines for DTaP/Tdap, polio, MMR, Hepatitis B, and Varicella.

Organize medical history and emergency contact information

This may seem like a no-brainer, but be sure to gather all of this information ahead of time to make things easier if an unexpected situation arises during the school year.

Ease back into a normal sleep schedule

Summertime is a fun and carefree time for kids, and although they might argue, it's important that they get plenty of sleep. Keep them active during the day and start bedtime 5-10 minutes earlier each night to make the transition easier come September.

Calm first-day jitters

For lots of kids, especially those entering kindergarten or a new school for the first time, the first day can seem scary. Parents and caregivers can help ease these worries by openly discussing what they can expect on day one, helping to pack their backpack in advance, and reading stories about going back to school. Reassure them that being nervous is normal, and they will forget about it in no time!

To book a primary care appointment for your child, visit bmc.org/pediatrics.