The first day back to school for most children across the South Plains is soon approaching, and while parents may be busy getting those new school clothes and supplies, paying a trip to your child’s pediatrician may also be something you will want to cross off your to-do list.
“Make sure the kids have their immunizations up to date, it’s a really big important thing that they should do,” said Paulette Rozneck, the Student Health Services coordinator for the Lubbock Independent School District.
“Also, if the student has any kind of diseases whether it be asthma, or diabetes, be sure to let the school nurse know so we can work together to manage that child’s disease.”
Some students may have a hard time making the transition from sleeping in to waking up early. Rozneck advises that parents begin easing their children back in to a normal routine and emphasizes the importance of going to bed at a decent hour.
“Slowly adjust that before they go back to school and make sure that they get up in time to go to school and eat a breakfast or eat breakfast at school,” said Rozneck. “Help them getting into a routine, getting out of the summer fun time and get plenty of sleep because the sleep will help them feel better, and feel rested and then they can learn better in the classrooms.”
To reduce the back-to-school jitters students (or parents) may be feeling, Rozneck also advises families pay a trip to the school beforehand to familiarize the student with the campus and get to know where their classrooms are.
Most schools will be hosting their “Open House” on Thursday, August 18th where children will be able to meet with their teachers and drop off their medications with the school nurse.
While it’s very important to visit with your pediatrician for a quick check-up or get your child’s physical done, there may be one more stop parents might overlook: the dentist’s office.
Dr. Fatima Khan, a dentist with Kool Smiles pediatric dentistry, says she hopes more children pay her a visit before the new school year starts so they can go back to school with their oral health in tip-top shape.
“When children have tooth decay the biggest problem is that they’re in a lot of pain so they can’t concentrate at school and they don’t sleep properly, and if they’re having inadequate sleep that lowers their grade point average and it’s not that they’re not working as hard, it’s just they’re in so much discomfort that they can’t concentrate while at school,” said Dr. Khan.
When packing kids’ lunches Dr. Khan advises to parents to steer away from fruity gummi snacks and juice packs, which tend to be very high in sugars. If you know your child has a sweet tooth, try packing their lunches with fresh fruits that have natural sugars instead.
“The most common thing is sugary drinks, and even those fruit snacks. A lot of parents think because it says, ‘fruit snacks,’ it’s really a lot of sugar, its sticky and they’re going to put their kids at a higher risk of getting cavities.”
And while it seems easy enough to remember to do well, Dr. Khan suggests watching your kids up until they are 7-8 years of age to make sure they are brushing their teeth at the right times and doing so correctly.
“The rule of thumb is 3-2-1. Three meals a day, brush twice a day, and floss at night. For younger kids, parents will need to help them with the flossing,” said Dr. Khan. “If you brush too hard you’re going to cause the gums to recede and cause sensitivity, so do a circular motion and use a soft bristled toothbrush.”
So, parents you have a bit of homework before the big day back to school: visit with your child’s doctor as well as their dentist:
“If you want your kids to smile and have a great GPA I think coming to your dentist will help you,” said Dr. Khan.
“Get some rest, eat well and have fun learning in your classroom!” said Rozneck.
For a complete list of parent/guardian forms on student health care (Return to School Guidelines, Head Lice Information, Local Immunization Clinics and Pricing…etc.), you can visit the LISD site by clicking here.