Backpack? Check. Notebooks? Check. Pens and pencils? Check.
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Your kid’s health information? Well …
That’s not one to forget. As you make up your child’s back-to-school to-do lists, pediatrician Kim Giuliano, MD, says it’s very important to remember to add up-to-date health information to the mix.
1. Check: up-to-date health records
Dr. Giuliano says before that first school bell rings, parents should call their child’s doctor for current medical records to pass along to school administrators. These include:
- Current immunizations
- Signed copy of any sports release forms from a sports physical
- Sign-off that they’re healthy for participation in physical activity
- List of your child’s medications and allergies
2. Check: hearing and vision
Dr. Giuliano says most annual checkups for kids include a hearing and vision test, but if your child wasn’t tested, be sure he or she is evaluated for both.
“Hearing and vision problems definitely can impair your child’s learning abilities,” says Dr. Giuliano. “We want to make sure that all of their senses are optimized so they can be as productive as possible in school.”
3. Check: special medical needs
Dr. Giuliano says it’s vital that the school to know if your child has any special medical needs, especially if he or she has:
Parents can work with their pediatrician to supply the school with an emergency action plan for potential medical emergencies. The school nurse or the school office personnel will then know what to do if your child gets into trouble.
“It’s also good for them to have a supply of your child’s medication on hand so that they can administer this at the time of emergency, or just at their routine scheduled times if it’s going to be dosed during the day,” adds Dr. Giuliano.
4. Check: the basics
Finally, don’t forget the healthy basics. Healthy kids do better in school, says Dr. Giuliano, so making sure they get plenty of sleep, exercise and good nutrition will go a long way to successful learning.