Plan Now for Healthy Back-to-School
August 09, 2019
With the school year right around the corner, now is an important time to not only be thinking about getting clothes and school supplies but also making sure your child gets in for a Well Child check-up. The Well Child check-up will determine if shots are up-to-date and make sure your child is growing and developing correctly according to their age. It’s also an opportunity to check your child’s sport physical off your list at the same time
Benefits of Well Child visits:
Kristin Pratt, HRMC’s newest family nurse practitioner at the HRMC Physicians Clinic, stresses the importance of having your child get their Well Child visits, especially when they are little. It is recommended your child get Well Child Check-ups from birth (3 to 5 days old) to about the age of 21 years old. The benefits of Well Child visits are:
- Prevention: Checking to see if your child is up-to-date on immunization shots to prevent illness.
- Tracking growth and development: Seeing how much your child has grown since their last visit and talking to the doctor about how your child’s development is going.
- Raising concerns: This is also the time you can ask your doctor about any raising concerns you have about your child’s development, behavior, sleep, eating or getting along with other family members.
- Team approach: Pratt recommends scheduling Well Child visits with your primary care provider regularly because it helps to build trust among the provider, parent and child.
What kind of shots does your child need?
Your child’s Immunization schedule depends on their age. Because shots administered in South Dakota are tracked in an online database, your primary care provider or the community health nurse can access your child’s records. The immunizations help protect against preventable diseases such as:
- Chickenpox (Varicella Vaccine)
- Diphtheria (DTaP Vaccine)
- Hib (Hib Vaccine protects against Haemophilus influenzae type b)
- Hepatitis A (HepA Vaccine)
- Hepatitis B (HepB Vaccine)
- Influenza (Flu Vaccine)
- Measles (MMR Vaccine)
- Mumps (MMR Vaccine)
- Pertussis (DTaP Vaccine)
- Polio (IPV Vaccine)
- Pneumococcal (PCV13 Vaccine)
- Rotavirus (RV Vaccine)
- Rubella (MMR Vaccine)
- Tetanus (DTaP Vaccine)
The images below, from the American Academy of Family Physicians, show what shots your child needs depending on their age and how often they will need them.
If your child is afraid of shots:
If your child is anxious about or afraid of getting shots, especially if they are younger, it is important you do your best to ease their mind through the process. Every child’s reaction is different, no matter what their age. One method staff at the HRMC’s Physicians Clinic uses is offering a small gift after the shots because it helps get the child’s off the shot itself and helps reduce any fear they maybe experiencing. The shots are quick and easy and are done before your child even knows they are done.
Start Now for a Healthy Back-to-School Routines
Starting school after summer vacation can be hard for your child. Pratt suggests “Getting them back in that school routine early so your kids can adjust a little easier.” She recommends figuring out what bedtime is going to be once school starts, getting family meals on their usual routine, and making sure kids are getting enough sleep.
“Sleep is so very important to your child’s development and, depending on their age, most children should get up to 10 hours a night,” says Pratt. “If your child isn’t waking up by themselves, it is likely they aren’t getting enough sleep, which means you might want to consider adjusting their bedtime .” Check out the American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines for Sleep https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/sleep/Pages/Healthy-Sleep-Habits-How-Many-Hours-Does-Your-Child-Need.aspx
Children shouldn’t be on a screen at least one hour before bed for the best chance at a good night’s sleep. Pratt also recommends that parents limit your child’s screen time to 1-2 hours a day because having too much screen time, can start to play a factor in your child’s well-being and mental health. For more information, check out https://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/Media/Pages/The-Benefits-of-Limiting-TV.aspx
Make the call for your child’s health!
The HRMC Physicians Clinic is the place to go to get your child’s Well Child, immunizations and sports physicals. To set up an appointment, call 605-353-7660. Same day immunization appointments are available!
Back to News Listing | Back to Blogs | Back to Girl Talk Blogs