8 back to school health checks parents should consider

By: Karen Edwards Email
By: Karen Edwards Email

News 12 This Morning

August 7, 2013

(WRDW)--"Well, it's that time of the year for children to get ready to go back to school," said David Freeman, MD., pediatrician with the Children's Hospital of Georgia.

And there are more ways than one to get ready.

Dr. David Freeman of the Children's Hospital of Georgia says there are eight important health checks every child should get for the school year.

The first two check ups they should get?

"They need to have a hearing and vision screen done to make sure they are ready to hear and understand and see what the teacher is doing and teaching them," he said.


"Immunization status and their record, make sure they're up to date with their shots," said Dr. Freeman.

That's something especially important for students heading back to school in South Carolina where there are a few immunization changes, including a new certificate of immunization for the state. (See attached document for details).

Dr. Freeman also says to get a screening for any learning, mental health or sleeping problems your child might have.

"Are they have problems learning? Is it related to maybe they're not getting enough sleep at night or do they truly have a learning problem or learning disorder, attention problem?" he said parents should ask. "And those can be screened initially by their pediatrician."

And he says parents can actually start that screening process by watching their children's behavior.

Seventh, make sure your child has all medications he or she might need for the school day.

"Those need to be discussed with the school nurse and then permission for the school nurse to use it and what to do when an emergency happens," he said.

And lastly, for any students with physical extra curriculars, Dr. Freeman recommends getting a pre-participation physical.

"Some of that would be family history," he explained. "And then they need a good muscular/skeletal to make sure there aren't any problems when they're participating in sports, especially the contact sports," Dr. Freeman said.

To get these health checks, Dr. Freeman recommends parents talk to their doctor about all eight subjects.

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