Are Your Kids Ready for School?
As the new school year is fast approaching, it is time to address the importance of wellness visits and ensuring your child is up to date on their vaccines.
Even if your child is in good health, it is important to continue with yearly routine checkups. This allows the opportunity to discuss concerns or questions you may have about your child with his or her primary care provider. Well child visits are multifaceted and include:
- A full head to toe physical exam
- Height, weight and head circumference (up to age 2), BMI (starting at age 2) obtained and shared on the growth chart
- Hearing and vision screening at certain ages
- Discussion about preventing obesity.
- Nutrition is an important topic and is discussed at checkups to ensure your child is eating healthy and obtaining the proper nutrition for growth and development. It’s recommended that children eat at least five servings of fruits/vegetables daily.
- Limit screen time to no more than two hours daily (phone, TV, computer, etc.)
- Exercise is important as well. Children should participate in at least one hour of physical activity daily.
- No sugary snack foods and drinks (juice, sport drinks, soda). Water is very important and should remain the primary source of fluid intake.
- Ten hours of sleep
- Developmental milestones are reviewed and discussed to ensure your child is meeting these at their appropriate age.
- The recommended schedule for well child exams is: 2 weeks then 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24, and 30 months of age followed by a well visit yearly from age 3-18.
Vaccines (immunizations) are also an integral part of your child’s health and wellness. Through vaccines immunity can occur without your child having to suffer from the disease itself. With vaccines the body is able to produce antibodies to fight the disease it is designed to prevent so your child can avoid sickness. Vaccines help protect against diseases that can cause serious illness and/or death.
Children are typically vaccinated at birth, 2, 4, 6,12, and 15 months. Booster vaccines are given to children who are 4-5 years old in preparation to enter school. Children then receive a booster vaccine of Tdap at 12 years old as they prepare to enter seventh grade.
Other optional vaccines available beginning at 11-12 years old is the HPV (human papillomavirus vaccine, also known as Gardasil) and the meningitis vaccine. Both vaccines are a series of two injections. At age 16, adolescents are also eligible to receive the meningitis B vaccine, which is a series of two injections.
Before school starts, make sure your child has a checkup & any necessary vaccines.