Morning Rounds: back to school checklist

NORFOLK, Va. - Summer is winding down and it is time to get the kids ready for their back to school checkups.

Dr. Ryan Light with Tidewater Physicians Multispecialty Group in Chesapeake gave this advice on News 3 This Morning.

What are some precautionary measures that parents can take to set their student up for a healthy school year?

  • Get an annual check up
  • Set a regular bedtime before the school year starts
  • Teach good hand hygiene
  • Eat on regular schedule

What should we expect from a back to school physical?

Annual checkups should be done by a primary care provider before each new school year to ensure your child's medical records and vaccinations are up to date.  You may need to provide this information to the school:

    • Vision screenings
    • Visit to the dentist. (According to the CDC, tooth decay is one of the most common chronic conditions among children and results in a staggering number of missed school days.)
    • Hearing screenings
    • Sports physical
    • Vaccinations

Which vaccines do kids need, and when?

    • Tdap
      • A booster to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Recommended for preteens (11-12), as well as any teens (13-18) who haven't gotten this shot yet.
    • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4)
      • Protects against meningococcal disease. First dose is recommended at age 11 or 12 followed by a booster (2nd shot) at age 16-18.
    • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
      • Protects against the types of HPV that cause most cervical cancers. HPV vaccine is given in three doses over a 6-month period to boys and girls starting at 11-12 years old.
    • Influenza (flu) vaccine
      • Protects against different strains of seasonal influenza. A yearly dose is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.