Back-to-school tips: Be healthy this school year

Did you remember to get your sports physical, your well-checks and your vaccinations up to date for the new year?

Find those forms so your child has them on the first day of school or first practice if there is a question.

Daniela Flores, 12, smiles as she receives an immunization at the Austin Independent School District and City of Austin Back-to-School Bash in 2011. Deborah Cannon/AMERICAN-STATESMAN 

If you didn’t, you might still have time to do so. If you’re in the Austin Independent School District, you can go to the Back to School Bash on Saturday to get that done, plus get free backpacks and supplies. Bring your shot record with you. It’s happening 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 12 at Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road. Buses leave from Guerrero Thompson and Summitt elementary schools; Bedichek, Martin, Mendez and Covington middle schools; and Lanier and Reagan high schools. austinisd.org/bash

If you’re not in AISD or that time doesn’t work for you, consider going into a walk-in clinic if your regular doctor can’t take you. (It’s not the best, which is why next year you’ll remember to schedule a doctor’s visit in May or June.)

If your child is playing sports, ask your doctor or coach about doing a preconcussion screening. Some schools do it with their athletes, but you might need to get it done outside of school at a clinic that has the equipment to do that. The screening establishes a baseline so you can see the extent of the damage after a concussion happens. Don’t just think about your son playing football, either. We now know that girls in sports actually have more concussions than boys. 

Dr. David Kessler, an electrophysiologist who practices at Heart Hospital of Austin, confers with student athlete Walker Demedeiros during a free heart screening.

Now is also the time to get a heart screening for student athletes to makes sure it’s safe to play. If you have a student ages 14 to 18, sign up for a free one at Heart Hospital of Austin 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 19. The screening tests for genetic conditions such as Long QT syndrome and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. You also can learn CPR and how to use a defibrillator while you’re there. Schedule an appointment at 512-478-3627 or visit StDavids.com/youngheart.

 

Don’t forget to also do these things:

  • If you haven’t done the dentist visit or eye exam, try to get it done before school.
  • If your child has regular medications they need to take at school, get those ready, labeled and with a doctor’s note to give to the school nurse. Work out with the nurse how your child will receive those.
  • Fill any prescriptions that might be low to make the first weeks of school easier.
  • Update the first-aid kid and medicine cabinet. Get rid of expired medicine and stock up on fever reducers, cough medicine and cough drops, stomach remedies, allergy medicines, bandages and other first-aid materials.

RELATED: Got a scrape or cut? Austin company wants you to rub some Curoxen on it

Remember, when kids do get sick at home, it’s best to keep them at home if they have a fever or bodily fluid coming out of them. Last year, we offered you a guide to when to keep kids at home. Keep it handy throughout the year, when you’re just not sure.

 

 


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