Give your Child a Healthy Start in School
Before your child heads off to school this fall, play it safe by adding one more item to the to-do list: checking up on his or her physical health. Your physician and school district will typically make vaccination requirements clear before the bell rings. If not, the Immunization Action Coalition can help you find local information.
Make time for the doctor
After vaccinations, the most important step you can take to keep your kids healthy is to teach them proper hand-washing skills, to help them fight off the colds and flu that will come their way in the classroom.
Then, an annual back-to-school exam is a great opportunity for your doctor to assess your child’s development and for you to ask any questions.
“Even if your child is very healthy, a routine check-up is important since pediatrics is geared toward preventative medicine, says Dr. Suzanne Nielsen, a pediatrician at Banner Health Center in Gilbert, AZ.
Dr. Nielsen says asking questions and stopping small problems before they become big ones is key to keeping children healthy. A good pediatrician will find out about a variety of issues, from measuring a child’s weight and height to assessing eating habits to asking whether he or she makes friends easily.
The other before-school challenge, says Dr. Nielsen, is to prepare children with asthma or allergies or those who need other daily medications, to work with teachers and school administrators to make sure they get what they need.
“Our role is to be an advocate for the child, with the parents and the teacher,” Nielsen says.
To make an appointment with Dr. Nielsen before your child heads back to school, call (480) 649-6600, or find other Banner Health physicians.