August 11, 2015 | by The Polyclinic

While there is still plenty of summer left to enjoy, the new school year is right around the corner. From school clothes and supplies to class schedules and arranging daycare, there’s always a lot to do. As you’re preparing for the big first day, don’t forget to keep your children’s health in mind. Here is a list of suggestions to consider as the school year approaches.

Backpacks

If you’re choosing a new backpack for your child this year, look for wide, padded straps and a padded back to evenly distribute the weight of books and supplies. Shoulder and back injuries are less likely to occur if your child is wearing their backpack properly. Be sure they wear both straps on their shoulders and the straps should be tight enough so the pack hangs above their waist.

Check-Ups and Sports Physicals

Summer, before classes start, is a great time to take care of annual physical check-ups and exams, including vision and hearing screenings. According to the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, one in four children has undiagnosed eye problems that interfere with learning. Getting your child’s eyesight checked now will also allow enough time for any corrective lenses to be ordered.

Summer is a great time to get your child in for their sports physicals too. Whether they’re starring on the football team or playing in their first youth soccer game, getting your child checked early will save everyone the stress of last-minute appointments.

Vaccinations

Vaccination requirements to attend public school are becoming stricter in many areas. Keeping up on these guidelines is important to ensure your child, and others, stay healthy while at school. Use your summer down-time to make sure your child is up-to-date on their vaccinations. If your child attends a school in Washington State, you can find required vaccinations on the Washington State Department of Health website.

To schedule an appointment for an annual check-up or vaccination, contact your physician’s office. Many of our pediatricians and family medicine providers currently have appointments available within a week.

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