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Stay on Top of Back-to-School Health Screenings

Last updated: August 19, 2022

We want each child to be healthy and to set them up for a successful school year.

Dr. Robert Sedlacek, Family Medicine Physician, ThedaCare Physicians-Waupaca 

It’s back-to-school time, and parents have many responsibilities as they get their kids ready for the new school year. One of the most important tasks is to make sure your child’s health screenings are up to date. 

“Back-to-school time can be busy for parents,” says Dr. Robert Sedlacek, a Family Medicine Physician at ThedaCare Physicians-Waupaca. “With all the information a child’s school sends ahead of the first day, we want to help parents stay current on their child’s health status.” 

Importance of Well-Child Visits

Annual well-child visits allow your provider to see your child when they are healthy and not fighting an illness. Your provider also can discuss preventive health issues, such as safety, getting enough exercise, good sleeping habits, and healthy eating. In addition, these visits provide a chance for your child to receive needed vaccinations and complete sports physicals. 

“Physicals are a good opportunity for families to connect with their care team,” Dr. Sedlacek says. “They can also help ensure students are as healthy as possible for their age with the goal of training and competing safely.” 

As the school year begins, it’s also important for parents to ensure their child’s school knows about any health issues.  

“If your child takes a medication that must be given during school hours, you’ll need to provide that medication to the school with explicit directions,” Dr. Sedlacek says. “Likewise, if your child has a serious health issue such as diabetes, asthma, or food allergies, be sure that information is communicated to the school. Ensure an emergency plan is in place and all emergency contact information is up to date.” 

Needed Screenings

Vision and hearing checks also are vital, Dr. Sedlacek says. Watch your child for cues that they might be struggling to see or hear. For example, they may sit closer to the TV or computer screen than before or turn up the volume higher. 

“I was in sixth grade when I received my first pair of glasses, though I probably had not been able to see the board through most of fifth grade,” Dr. Sedlacek says. “When a child can’t hear or see well, that will interfere with their ability to learn and interact with teachers and classmates.”  

Good oral hygiene is imperative as well, and kids should visit the dentist for checkups twice per year. 

“A healthy smile can give kids confidence,” Dr. Sedlacek says. “Sometimes kids’ dental hygiene habits may relax over the summer. A back-to-school cleaning can help get those habits back on track. If your child plays a sport that requires a mouth guard, it’s also good to have your dentist check that it fits well and provides the desired protection.” 

Making time for health screenings at the beginning of the school year can prepare your child for learning success. 

“We want to empower families to support their children by ensuring their health needs are met,” Dr. Sedlacek says. “We want each child to be healthy and to set them up for a successful school year.”  

Visit MyThedaCare to schedule a wellness visit for your child.

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Tags: back to school dental care Dr. Robert Sedlacek hearing screening medications sports physicals vaccines vision screening well child visits

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