A Back-to-School Well-Child Checklist

A Back-to-School Well-Child Checklist

Aug 03 2021

Prepping your child for another school year can be challenging; ThinkHealth helps you start planning with health and well-being in mind.

If you’re the proud parent of a grade school scholar, you know that the month of August is all about getting them ready to go back to school. Everything from new shoes to art supplies plays a role in their preparedness — as does health and wellbeing. Use the following tips to prep your young ones for a healthy schoolyear.

Back-to-school physical

There are plenty of reasons to schedule a back-to-school physical. Whether your child plans to play sports, or you’re simply looking to track their growth and development, you should consider scheduling an annual physical. Your doctor may also call this a “well-child checkup” or “preventive care.” It’s an important visit that you can get out of the way before the school year to help you and your child focus on other aspects of their learning. If scheduling an in-office visit isn’t convenient, check with your provider about virtual care options.

Trip to the optometrist

Students who need glasses but don’t wear them—or those who don’t even know they need them—are more likely to struggle in the classroom. From computer screens to the chalkboard, the ways students learn require them to maintain healthy vision. That’s why it’s a good idea to schedule your child’s annual eye exam before the start of the school year. Many annual well child visits also include a basic vision test to address major concerns.

Back to school well child

Immunizations and screenings

Sometimes your children can’t go back to school before they receive required immunizations. This is particularly an issue if the school in question is a college or university. If your child’s school hasn’t communicated any requirements, or you’re simply unsure about recommended immunizations or vaccines for back to school, the CDC has helpful guidelines available to you. It’s also important to have your child screened for age-appropriate conditions, such as hearing before preschool, obesity before grade school and depression before high school.

Lunchtime nutrition

It’s time to stock up on healthy lunch options. The challenge comes when kids head back to school where they require a regimented lunch routine. Between those tempting vending machine treats and the hearty hot lunch options, keeping your kid’s school day diet healthy can be difficult. However, with a little bit of research and creativity, you can turn your child’s sack lunch into a cornucopia of nutrients. And if you’re balancing multiple family members doing work and school at home, stock up on easy-to-grab healthy snacks or consider meal prepping on the weekends. Here are some money-saving tips if you’re on a tight food budget.

Back-to-sleep schedule

Michigan summer days are long with the sun not setting until well after 9 p.m. That can mean later bedtimes followed by snoozing later the next morning, too. As the first day of school gets closer, it’s important to get kids back on a sleep routine that they can maintain throughout the year. The National Sleep Foundation has helpful tips for starting this process about two weeks before the first day, so it’s a gradual change. Remember that sleep is important for your little ones. Not enough sleep can lead to lower grades and has also been linked to concentration problems in kids. It’s also important for the whole family to be on a healthy sleep schedule.

Check your health plan benefits

It’s important to start the school year successfully. A big part of that success lies in your child’s health and wellbeing. Talk to your health insurance provider to see what options are available to you and your family. At Priority Health, for example, members and their dependents receive free preventive care and have access to programs and services to help them stay fit, eat healthier and live better.

With just a little pre-planning in August, you can be ready to kick off a safe and healthy school year.

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