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Back-to-School: How to create a health checklist

As parents check off the boxes for their child's back-to-school supply list, health experts say medical screenings should be added too.

When it comes to back-to-school preparation parents are often given a school supply checklist, but health experts recommend parents make a back-to-school medical checklist too. 

Chelle Jeffrey is a physician assistant with Novant Health.  She said during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, few offices saw patients in person for routine wellness visits. With offices now back in full swing, she encourages families to make an appointment for a thorough consultation that their child may not have had in the last two years.

“We want to make sure they're current on their vaccines and that is all dependent on their age and their risk for various infectious illnesses,” Jeffrey said. “We also want to make sure that they are getting appropriate nutrition and getting appropriate body movement and for their age, any other underlining conditions that they may have or may run in their families.

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In addition to seeing a family medical doctor or pediatrician, Jeffrey recommends children get routine dental visits, eye exams, and mental health screenings.  

“We want to make sure that we are identifying problems when they're early before they become more complicated and have a significant negative impact on the child's life, on their family's life, and we also want to be able to provide anticipatory guidance,” Jeffrey explained.

With school starting right around the corner, and already in session for some Triad students, Jeffrey said appointments are filling up and recommends parents call as soon as possible.

She also said, while most insurance companies will cover a child's wellness exam, typically insurance does not cover sports physicals. Those are usually paid for out of pocket.

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