Back-to-School Health Q&A

What you need to know before the kids head back to school.

You can almost hear a collective groan from the kids. Summer is nearly over and back-to-school preparation is beginning. As you make your back-to-school shopping list, consider these frequently asked questions regarding your child's return to school.

Question : Is my child's backpack too heavy?
Answer: Their backpack should weigh no more than 20 percent of your their body weight. So, if your kid weighs 95 pounds, their backpack weight shouldn't exceed 19 pounds. Additionally, when carrying a backpack, your child should wear both shoulder straps to distribute the weight evenly and reduce strain. If the backpack is often too heavy, consider buying a bag with wheels.

Question Why get a back-to-school physical?
Answer: Besides being a requirement at many schools, getting a pre-school physical allows you to make sure your child is up to date on vaccinations. The physical also allows your pediatrician to provide wellness guidance in terms of healthy diet and exercise, as well as answer health questions. Regular exams also build up your child's medical history.

Question: How do I help my child with back-to-school anxiety?
Answer: The simple solution is to meet the challenge head on. Listen to your child's concerns. If they are worried about having a new teacher, try to set-up a meet and greet before the school year begins. It is important to remain positive, keep a schedule and make your child go to school.

Question: What is the best way to prevent my child from getting sick at school?
Answer: This solution really starts with you. Prior to taking them to school, teach the importance of good hygiene. Explain proper hand-washing, covering their mouth when they cough or sneeze and not sharing personal items with friends. Just in case, you can also send a bottle of hand sanitizer if it is age appropriate.

For more information about immunizations, visit Oak Hill Hospital's Immunization Guidelines for Children for a complete list of immunizable diseases as well as a recommended childhood immunization schedule. If you would like a physician referral, call our free Consult-A-Nurse® service at 1-888-741-5120.

Related Posts:
A Parent's Guide to Immunizations
Preparing Your Child for Hospitalization

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