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Living Well

Getting Your Child Ready for School

Last updated: Aug 01, 2010

If you have a child in preschool, grade school, middle school, or high school, you’re likely to be thinking about things you must do to prepare him or her for the start of a new school year. In addition to ensuring that your child has the right school supplies, there are some important steps to take to help keep him or her healthy throughout the school year.

If your child is entering preschool, he or she should be:

  • Screened for hearing and vision 
  • Vaccinated for
    • Diptheria / tetanus / pertussis (whooping cough) 
    • Measels / mumps / rubella 
    • Polio
    • Hepatitis A and B
    • Chicken pox 
    • Influenza (flu)
  • Tested for food allergies
  • Given a dental check up

"Recent research shows that even some people with sensitivity to chicken or egg protein can be vaccinated safely when they are under the care of an allergist," says Summit Medical Group pediatrician Michelle Bender, MD, FAAP. "If you're unsure whether your child should be vaccinated for influenza, be sure to discuss all your child’s allergies with your pediatrician. He or she will tell you whether your child should be vaccinated or referred to our allergists or further evaluation."

If your child is entering grade school, he or she should be:

  • Screened for vision
  • Vaccinated for flu
  • Given a physical examination that includes discussion about all medical conditions, including asthma, diabetes, weight, and nutrition concerns, activity level, and allergies as well as attention and behavior problems

Middle school students should be:

  • Vaccinated with boosters for tetanus, pertussis, and meningitis

Even if their vaccinations are up to date, adolescents as young as middle school can benefit from having a physical examination and the opportunity to discuss other concerns, including emotional, sexual, and medical issues with their physician at the start of the school year. In addition to getting boosters for certain vaccines, some adolescent boys and girls are being vaccinated with Gardasil® to protect against the human papillomavirus (HPV) that is associated with risk for cervical cancer and other cancers. 

For more information or to schedule an appointment,
please call Summit Medical Group Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
at 908-273-4300.