Arizona kids are headed back to school and it is time to do a quick check to make sure they’re ready! AllKids Urgent Care has these tips on some preventative measures you can take to keep your kids healthy, as well as advice on what to do when they get sick, as they head back to the classroom.
Fight Germs First Every year, the number of children who get mono, strep throat, and the flu starts skyrocketing right around the end of August. Germs spread as kids go back to the classroom and mingle with other kids, teachers and parents. It’s important that parents teach their kids good hand-washing and hygiene habits and send kids to school with hand sanitizer to use before and after eating, after using the bathroom, and after playing outside.
Immunizations Make sure your child is up to date on immunizations. Children entering kindergarten need to be current with their vaccinations to be enrolled in school. Around fifth or sixth grade, children are usually due for more immunizations or booster shots. Proof of vaccination must be provided to the school. Check with your child’s pediatrician to make sure your child has what they need.
Sports Physicals If your kids are playing or trying out for a sport, the school may require a sports physical. Sports physicals should not replace a child’s regular check-up with a pediatrician. Sports physicals are meant to ensure there are no additional health concerns that would prevent or hinder a child from playing a sport.
Lunch & Snacks Choose healthy options for your kids’ lunches. Pack them fruits, vegetables, proteins, and other healthy snacks. Make sure perishable items stay cold and do not spoil.
Also, be mindful of food allergies when packing your child’s lunch. Even if your child does not have food allergies, their classmates might. Many schools are instructing parents not to pack peanut or other tree nut allergens in lunches and many require that food brought in for things like parties be store-bought. Check with your child’s school to see what guidelines they have for school lunches.
Sick Kids If your child does not feel well, but has no severe symptoms or fever, it may be okay to send them to school. Parents should use their judgment here as they know their child best.
If your child has a fever that is higher than 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best to keep them home, as it may be a sign of either a viral or bacterial infection. Your child needs to be fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school as a general guideline.
Many illnesses are viral and need to run their course, others may be bacterial and require an antibiotic. If your child has been diagnosed with something like pink eye or strep throat, they will need to stay home until no longer contagious.
If your child is complaining of specific symptoms or has been diagnosed with an illness, it may be a good idea to check in with the school nurse and see if there have been a number of sick kids with a similar diagnosis or symptoms.
AllKids Urgent Care has pediatric providers available every day from noon to 10 p.m. to ensure high-quality, pediatric care is available to all kids and parents when they need it most. AllKids Mesa and Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care Centers provide on-site lab work for immediate diagnosis, as well as in-office x-ray equipment that may allow us to treat minor broken bones, sprains and fractures quickly, and at much more affordable costs than an emergency room visit.