default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Back to School Check-Ups: What to Ask the Pediatrician

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 10:00 pm | Updated: 1:32 am, Wed Jul 31, 2013.

(StatePoint) Between buying new school supplies and meeting your children’s teachers, back to school season is a busy time. But parents should not forget to prep for the school year by considering health and wellness. 

Experts say the first step is to schedule a visit to the doctor.

“The start of a new school year is an excellent reminder to take kids to the pediatrician for their annual checkup,” says Dr. Thomas K. McInerny, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

To prepare for a healthy, safe and happy school year, the AAP is offering these tips for parents:

• Doctor’s visit: Make the most of your visit to the pediatrician by making a list of issues to discuss.

• Immunizations: Whether you’re the parent of a young child, a teen or a young adult heading to college, ask your pediatrician what immunizations your child is due to receive. Vaccines save lives and keep kids and adults healthy.

• Nutrition: Talk with your child's pediatrician and school about healthful food choices. You can ask the school to stock the cafeteria and vending machines with nutritious food, such as fresh fruit, low-fat dairy products, water and 100 percent fruit juice. If you don’t like the options the school offers, pack lunch and snacks at home.

Limit soda consumption. Each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child's risk of obesity by 60 percent.

• Exercise: Make sure your kids are getting plenty of exercise. Turn off the television and make time for sports teams, gymnastics classes and bike rides. Aim for at least an hour a day.

• Backpacks: Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back or a rolling backpack. Backpacks should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of your child’s body weight.

• Getting there: Make sure your child has the necessary gear for getting to school. Whether your child is biking or walking, teach him or her about traffic safety. For bikers, ensure helmets fit properly. Those who take the bus should be instructed to stay seated and listen to the bus driver. If the bus is equipped with seat belts, children should wear them.

• Sleep: Children and adolescents need plenty of sleep to be alert. A regular bedtime can help your child get on a healthy sleep schedule.

• Bullies: A bully can pose a true threat to a child’s physical and mental well-being. Your pediatrician is well equipped to answer questions about mental health, too. Teach kids how to respond confidently to bullies and encourage them to tell an adult when there’s a problem. Remember, bullying can occur online too. So keep tabs of your children’s social media use.

• College health: For kids heading to college, ask your pediatrician about coordinating health care with the school.

More back to school health tips can be found at www.HealthyChildren.org.

With a focus on safety and health, you can help make this school year successful for your kids.

Photo Credit: (c) Monkey Business - Fotolia.com

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.



Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists