BACK TO SCHOOL HEALTH TIPS
As back-to-school preparations continue, here are several tips to make check-ups better, simpler and safer (compliments of Say Ah!ís Back To School Tips). Feel free to share these with friends and family members.
1. Get your forms in order! Have all the school , daycare and athletic health forms you need for each child. Make a list of which doctors to see and what paperwork you will need to have signed.
2. Call ahead to schedule the appointments. If weekdays are a problem for you, find out if the doctor has weekend office hours.
3. Make a list of important information and bring it with you. Make three copies of this list: One for you, one for your doctor and one to give the front desk for your childís file. This includes:
∑ What medicines your child is taking.
∑ Include prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbs and supplements (such as protein drinks).
∑ Important facts about your childís health. Include allergies, chronic illnesses, any past surgeries, broken bones, etc.
∑ Questions or concerns that you- or your child may have about his or her health.
4. Prepare your child for the visit. Depending on the childís age and readiness, let him or her know what to expect from the visit, and what is expected of them. If the child is old enough to speak to the doctor on his/her own, encourage the child to do so.
5. Make sure your child is comfortable during the visit. This should be a positive experience in every for your child. Talk with your child about anything that is bothering him/her (physically or emotionally), and help resolve the problem or concern.
6. Check that your childís records are correct and up to date. The lists you just made should square with what is in the doctorís file for your child. This is especially important if your child sees more than one doctor or has been to a hospital or emergency room or department.
7. Communicate with your childís doctor! Speak up if you have something to say Ė you are your childís advocate! Ask questions whenever you donít understand something, whether it is a medical term or medication directions.
8. Take notes so you donít forget what your doctor tells you.
9. Make sure you (and your child if s/he is old enough) understand important information such as medication directions, how to use an inhaler or other medical devices, or what to do if your child is referred to another doctor.
∑ Ask your doctor to repeat instructions if you donít get them the first time.
∑ Check your understanding by saying, ďOkay, let me make sure Iíve got this correct,Ē and repeat back to your doctor what s/he just said in your own words.
∑ If you go home and realize you have a question, contact the doctor immediately and ask for clarification.
10. Get your childís weight and height. This is great information to have as many medications are given by weight.
NOTE: These numbers can change throughout the year, so use them only as guidelines.