Healthy ideas for the return to school

By: Health Local Staff Aug 18, 2014
  Article
back to school

The health concerns that should be taken care of before the kiddies head back to school.

Parents, rejoice! The time to send the beloved children back to school is just around the corner and there is a lot to get done before hand. Not only are you worried about buying new supplies and wardrobes, registering for after school activities and budgeting for sports uniforms, but there is also a plethora of health concerns that must also be addressed. These concerns regard your child and the entire school so they are very important to include amid the rest of the chaos that heralds the beginning of the school year.

Vaccinations
There are few more prominent health risks than an out-of-date immunization record. It is of utmost importance that your child or children are up to date with their shots and vaccinations. Many children travel over the summer either to other cities, provinces or countries. This opens kids up to a host of possible germs to carry around and back to your child. On the extreme side, it could even include foreign diseases and parasites. It is a very real and even deadly risk not to have children immunized against existing diseases. You may wish to consider a flu shot as well. Some schools will not allow students to return without a current immunization record, so that will definitely motivate some but all parents should be motivated by good health and prevention.

Exams
There are several exams your child should receive before heading off to the classroom: eye, ear and physical. The eye exam is excellent for catching problems in eyesight or any new developments in existing eye problems like astigmatism. This allows prescriptions to be adjusted or new, better fitting frames to be purchased before it becomes a problem when attention should be on the blackboard.

Ears should also be checked to make certain your little princess or slugger is able to hear her or his lessons. It does little good to have all the crayons and scissors needed when little Claire can't hear the instructions. Hearing impairments can interfere with speech and academic progress, causing great stress and frustration in the urge to succeed.

A full physical is not only wise to get a picture of your child's overall health, it is necessary if there is any ambition to join sports. If you are aware your bundle of joy desires to engage in a sports program, do not wait until the last week before school starts as the foot traffic in the Pediatric office is often heaviest at this time. Plan to get it done a bit earlier.

Creepy Crawlies
Check your young ones over for hidden parasites like ticks and lice before sending them off to school. The hard play days of summer, especially in a hot climate or around wooded areas, can make for an easy transfer of things you would rather not have in the house or the classroom. Lice are especially easy to transmit so weekly or monthly checks of your child's head are a good idea throughout the year. Lice like to lay their nits, or egg clusters, behind the ears and at the nape of the neck but will not stop there. They can present a nasty infestation but can be handled without strong chemicals if you would prefer a more holistic approach. Mayonnaise is a wonderful way to drown out the little brown pests and does no damage to a young one's scalp or hair, instead adding deep conditioning.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.