Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back-to-School Tips -- Part II

Back-to-School Tips – Part II

Check-ups, School Physical, Vaccinations
Make appointments early to avoid the long waits for your pediatrician’s office.  Many offices and waiting rooms will be full in the beginning of the school year for physicals, vaccinations, and the inevitable illnesses that children pass around so graciously.
  • Is your child up-to-date on their vaccinations?
    • If you are unsure, you can call their school or pediatrician to verify that they are up-to-date with all school and American Academy of Pediatric recommendations.
  • Is your child changing schools?
    • They will probably need an updated vaccination form on file at their new school.

Car Safety
Thousands of children are brought to the emergency room with injuries sustained from not being properly restrained in an automobile.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that toddlers be kept in rear facing car seats until age 2 or they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat.
    • Children under 2 years of age who are rear facing are 75% less likely to be killed or seriously injured in a car crash  (study from the Journal of Injury Prevention).
    • Children who are under 4 feet 9 inches tall should ride in a booster seat.
      • Most standard car safety belts do not fit properly on small children.

Bus Safety
Talk with your child about safety at the bus stop and while on the bus.
  • Children should never cross the street unless the bus driver has put out their flashers and signaled that it is ok to cross.
  • Children should walk home from the bus stop in groups or pairs if possible.
  • Make sure your child knows what to do in the event their bus does not show up or if they miss the bus.

Talk with your children about what to do if they are approached by a stranger.
  • Have a code word and a plan for emergencies if they are to be picked up by someone that they are not familiar with.
  • This is also a great time to go over your family’s fire safety plan and make sure that all smoke detectors in the home are working properly.

For more information on vaccinations, school physicals, or transportation safety, consult with your pediatrician or visit the American Academy of Pediatrics – Children’s Health Topics

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