Kids across the country will be heading back to school shortly. While many parents focus on buying back-to-school supplies and clothing for their children in order to start off the new school year on the right foot, healthcare experts say there are other, more important things to focus on, like a yearly check-up with the doctor.
"We want to make sure they’re the healthiest they can be prior to going back so that they can do the best they can while they’re in school," says pediatrician Dr Riya Strifling.
In addition to monitoring your child’s growth and development, doctors say that having their vision and hearing checked is another important part of a back-to-school physical.
Vaccines should be priorities as well, even for older children.
"Some parents might not realize that some of their teenagers going back to school may still need some booster vaccines. Certain things they’re exposed to like meningitis and tetanus are things they still need to booster for," Dr Strifling says.
Another parenting advice tip for helping your kids start the school year healthier is to get them into a good sleep routine. Experts say fathers should start to get their kids to bed about a half hour earlier about a week before school begins.