Section: Community Medical Center News

Community Medical Center Offers Back-to-School Health Checklist

08/16/2017

Community Medical Center Offers Back-to-School Health Checklist

Community Medical Center suggests adding an annual checkup and health screenings to your to-do checklist to prepare for the school year.

TOMS RIVER, NJ – It is the time of year when parents trek to the store to stock up on notebooks, pencils, backpacks, lunchboxes and many other things on their back-to-school checklist. It should also be the time parents take a moment to assure their children’s health is in order, before heading back to school.

Community Medical Center, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, urges parents to make children’s health just as important as those school supplies or new outfit for the first day of school, and offers the following health checklist with important questions.

Has your child completed a back-to-school physical? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, schools often require physicals to ensure students’ vaccinations are up-to-date. These exams also provide an opportunity to monitor your child’s health on a year-to-year basis to ensure he or she is hitting milestone benchmarks. In addition to going over questions about lifestyle behaviors and personal and family medical history, your health care provider will also check vital signs, and perform heart, lung, abdominal, head, neck and neurological exams.

Need a pediatrician? Visit www.rwjbh.org/community and click on “Our Doctors” to find one, or call 1-888-724-7123.

Have you scheduled a vision screening for your child recently? A visit to the eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam is an important part of overall health. If your child is having a problem seeing the blackboard, it can affect their academic success. Also check with your child’s ophthalmologist for the proper glasses to wear when playing contact sports.

Are your child’s immunizations up-to-date? Be sure to review any missed or new immunizations at your child’s check up. If you have recently moved from another state, check with your pediatrician to make sure your child meets the state’s immunization regulations. New Jersey schools require specific immunizations based on the age of your child. For a full list of vaccinations required for preschool/child care, school and college entry in New Jersey, visit http://www.nj.gov/health/cd/imm_requirements/.

Does your child receive medication on a regular basis for a chronic problem? Any health problems should be made known to the school. School nurses and teachers should be informed, especially if they are the ones to administer the medicine. Speak with them before school begins and work out an emergency action plan.

Has your child had a hearing test recently? If your child is listening to the television or music at a loud volume, or tends to favor one ear over the other when listening, it may be a sign of hearing loss.

Have you updated your emergency contacts? Make sure your child's emergency contacts on file with their school are accurate and current. If you move or change a number, correct it the next day. The child's physician and dentist need to be listed.

Does your child play sports? Consider scheduling cardiac and concussion screenings. Cardiac screenings can help detect underlying cardiac issues in young athletes and confirm that your child is healthy and ready to play. With a reported increase in concussions in sports like youth soccer, cheerleading, football and hockey, and even playground injuries, it's important to have a cognitive baseline in case of a concussion.

The RWJBarnabas Health Matthew J. Morahan III Health Assessment Center for Athletes provides statewide education, evaluation and assessment of sports injury and sports-related cardiac and concussion screenings. For information about upcoming screenings, call 973-322-7913.

With a little effort before school starts, children will head back to school healthier, happier and ready to learn.

To find a pediatrician or specialist affiliated with Community Medical Center, visit www.rwjbh.org/community and click on “Our Doctors”, or call our free physician referral service at 1-888-724-7123.

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