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Doctor’s checkup an important part of your child’s back-to-school checklist
As the start of the school year approaches, it’s important to add one more item to your back-to-school checklist: a checkup for your child with his or her primary-care physician.
“Parents who remember to call earlier to schedule checkups have a greater likelihood of being seen by their school’s deadline, and at a time of day that’s convenient for them,” said Dr. Doreen Kiss, a pediatrician with the UW Neighborhood Clinic in Kent/Des Moines.
The following checklist will help ensure that your child is prepared for his or her first day back at school:
• List concerns you have about your child’s health, and bring the list with you to the checkup. Writing your concerns can help you remember to ask questions during the appointment.
• Review your child’s medical history so you are prepared to answer questions your child’s physician may have. Make note of major illnesses and injuries, chronic health problems, and health problems that emerged in the past year.
• Talk with your child about the appointment. Encourage him or her to ask questions during the checkup. Having this conversation will help ease concerns or fears your child may have.
• Compile a list of medications your child takes, including dosages and how often each medication is taken. Include vitamins and supplements, as well as over-the-counter medications.
• If your child might participate in sports activities during the year, bring an authorization form to the checkup. School districts require a licensed healthcare professional to perform a physical exam of any student who plans to participate in team sports. Authorization forms are available from schools, districts, and, often, their websites. The checkup also is a good time to ask about concussion prevention, if that is a concern.
• Check that your child’s immunizations are current and that your doctor has a copy of the immunization record. If your child received immunizations from a different care provider, ensure those are added to your child’s records.
• Obtain a doctor’s note for medications your child must take at school. This would include temporary medications such as antibiotics, and medications for long-term conditions such as asthma. Take this opportunity to double-check that your child’s medications are not out dated.