Your Child’s Back-to-School Health and Safety Checklist

Posted on Aug 14, 2015

Back-to-school health and safety checklistTo get the school year off to a safe and healthy start, Lisa A. Hills, M.D., Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation pediatrician, recommends:

  • Annual physical exam: Your pediatrician will discuss your child’s height, body mass index, vision, hearing and blood pressure as well as discuss sports-related issues with student athletes and important emotional/behavioral issues with and teens.

    Lisa A. Hills, M.D., Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation

    Lisa A. Hills, M.D. Sutter East Bay Medical Foundation

  • Vaccinations: Check to see if your child is missing any required immunizations. Also ask about immunizations that are recommended but not required, such as the flu vaccine.
  • Emergency contact information: Your child’s school should have up-to-date emergency numbers, including the contact information for you and your pediatrician as well as a list of your child’s medications, physical impairments and medical conditions.
  • Child passenger safety: Buckling children in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats and seat belts reduce serious and fatal injuries by more than half.
  • Pedestrian safety: Children 9 or younger should always cross the street with an adult. The safest place for your child to cross the street is at a street corner or intersection. At any street crossing, before stepping off the curb, your child should stop and look left-right-left to see if any cars are coming.
  • Backpack tips: Carrying a backpack shouldn’t be a workout for your child. Pack the bag as lightly as possible, with heavier items in the center compartment. The load should never be more than 10% to 20% of her body weight. Backpacks with wheels are a good option.
  • Hand washing: Prevent the spread of germs at school. Teach your child proper hand washing technique: Rub hands together with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds. Remind your kids to cough and sneeze into their sleeves and send them to school with antiviral hand gel to use frequently.
  • Sleep schedule: A lack of sleep can negatively affect school performance. Be sure to get your kids on a regular sleep schedule. Limit nighttime TV, video games, cell phone chats or anything that prevents your child from getting a good night’s rest.

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