Presbyterian | Your Story | Centennial Care | Summer 2021 9 Back to school, back to the doctor Before you know it, the summer will be coming to an end, which means it’s time for your child to head back to school. Chances are you’re buying school supplies and clothes. And before you know it, you’ll be filling out permission slips. But your to-do list isn’t complete unless you’ve scheduled a back-to-school doctor visit for your child. This might be a well-child visit. Or—if your child is an athlete—it might be a sports physical. And in either case, it’s the only visit many kids and teens have with their doctor each year. That’s why it’s so important. The doctor can give your child a physical exam and check for any hidden health problems. These visits are also a chance for you to bring up any concern you have about your child’s health and development. What’s a healthy weight for your child? How can you help your child eat better or exercise more? What’s the best way to discourage your child from smoking or help them cope with peer pressure? Any question you have is an important one. And as long as you speak up, your child’s doctor will guide you. They also allow you to be sure your child’s shots are up-to-date. Childhood shots help keep your child safe from 14 different diseases, some life- threatening. And kids don’t outgrow their need for them. Even preteens and teens need shots. Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention To learn what shots your child needs, visit vaccines/schedules . To look up your or your child’s shot history in New Mexico, visit webiznet_nm_public/ Application/PublicPortal . Call your child’s primary care provider to schedule an appointment today! Five ways to make the school year a safer one If your child has a chronic health problem, back-to-school planning involves more than last-minute runs for spiral notebooks and pencils. It also means educating the school staff about your child’s condition so that the year ahead is a safe—and healthy—one. Here’s how: 1. Create a written care plan. Ask your child’s doctor to help you write down exactly what the school should do to meet your child’s medical needs, including instructions for any medicine to be taken during the day. You might also meet with the school nurse to review the plan and understand how it will be carried out. 2. Be emergency-ready. The school staff should know how to reach you or your child’s doctor in case of an emergency. Remember to tell the school right away if that contact information changes. 3. Give your consent. Sign a release that gives the school permission to contact your child’s doctor. The doctor will also need your written permission to discuss your child’s condition with the school staff. 4. Be mindful about medicine. If your child needs medicine during the day, ask about the school’s policies and self-usage. If your child needs help, work with the school nurse to make sure the medicine is administered properly. And see that the school has an adequate supply. 5. Stay in touch. Meet regularly with teachers. Ask how your child is doing and if their condition is affecting schoolwork or behavior. If your child is falling behind find out how to help your child catch up. Source: American Academy of Pediatrics