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Back-to-School Health Checklist


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little boyIt’s time to get the kids ready to head back to school. Are your child’s immunizations up to date? Does he need new glasses? What time should she go to bed? We’ve rounded up expert advice on all this and more so your kids will be ready for the big day.

Schedule a well-child checkup.

The New Jersey Department of Education requires a well-child exam when a child enrolls in school; an annual exam is also required for participation in a school sport. Check with your child’s doctor regarding how often to schedule additional well-child check-ups.

Make sure your child is up-to-date on all immunizations, including seasonal flu/H1N1.

Ask your doctor for a copy of your child’s immunization record. You will need it to prove her immunization status for school. Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Childhood Immunization Support Program website for lots of helpful information, including: 

  • The AAP’s 2012 Childhood Immunization Schedule (for infants through teens) and a catch-up schedule for children who may have missed a scheduled vaccination. 
  • Updates on vaccine safety and vaccines that are temporarily in short supply.
  • Frequently asked questions about childhood immunizations.
  • The AAP’s Immunization Newsletter

The 2011-12 seasonal flu vaccine includes protection against the H1N1 virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That means that, barring some unforeseen circumstance, most Americans will be able to get one flu shot to protect against the major flu viruses. (Younger children who have never had a seasonal flu vaccine before will need two doses, says the CDC.) Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu, says the CDC. Getting your child vaccinated is the best method for protecting him from the flu. 

See more of our back-to-school health checklist—>

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