It’s nearly time for kids to start heading back to school, which makes it the perfect time to check up on your child’s health. Common colds and illnesses get passed from child to child quite easily in the classroom environment, food allergies are easily triggered, and children can experience problems and pain as they grow, so it is best to start the school year healthy and prepared for the semesters ahead.
When your child goes to his or her checkup, the pediatrician will be able to recommend vaccinations and provide health advice based on your child’s age.
Depending on your child’s age, certain immunizations are needed. Your pediatrician will be able to advise on which vaccines are needed and explain what each vaccine is for.
Children under the age of two usually need the most immunizations, because they will be receiving these for the first time:
- DtaP – diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis
- Hib – Haemophilus influenza
- MMR – measles, mumps, rubella
- Varicella – chicken pox
Between the ages of 4 and 6, many pediatricians recommend boosters for DTaP, Polio, and MMR.
All children over the age of 6 should consider annual flu shots to protect against the flu virus as it changes every year.
Children are more likely than adults to develop food allergies, and children are also more likely to grow out of certain allergies. It is important to test for food allergies early on to avoid an unwanted emergency, and so that you will know what kind of precautions to take if your child does have a food allergy. Common food allergies include
- Dairies, such as milk, cheese, and eggs
- Tree nuts
If you find that your child has a food allergy, be sure to inform the school nurse of any allergy that is life-threatening. An EpiPen may be necessary. Make sure your child has allergy friendly lunches and snacks at school, and tell your child to avoid sharing food with his or her classmates.
At your child’s check-up, the doctor may check the spine for any curvatures. When a spine curves in an S or C shape, this is diagnosed as scoliosis. Scoliosis can worsen as a child grows, so it is important to catch it early on. A back brace may be prescribed to avoid any further curvature.
Another common problem for school-aged kids is backpack weight. The American Chiropractic Association recommends that children carry backpacks no more than 10% of their body weight. Filling a backpack with books and needed electronics can add weight quickly. Consider providing your child with a rolling backpack with wheels to ensure that he or she isn’t carrying too much weight.
Starting the school year with a visit to the pediatrician will ensure that your child is prepared for the coming year and will provide an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have about the health of your child as he or she grows. Crisp Regional is proud to offer an outstanding team of pediatric doctors who will serve you and your child will excellence.