While teachers have been revamping lesson plans and working on their classrooms, students and parents have their own tasks.
Buying new clothes and supplies is usually a fun part of the back-to-school season, but remember that little kids need outfits and shoes they can handle on their own. Teachers don’t have time to tie 24 pairs of shoes. If your young child cannot handle a snap, zipper and belt, he’ll need pants with an elastic waistband instead. And unless your child can retie her own loose ribbons, be prepared for those pretty new bows to get lost during recess.
Your kids may nag you about new clothes and backpacks, but nobody will be lobbying for shots. Vaccine schedules change, though, and you need to be sure your child is up-to-date unless you have an approved exemption.
Whooping cough cases have been on the rise – in fact, the United States has declared it an epidemic nationwide. Does your child need a booster shot to guard against this highly contagious bacterial infection? Or do you have a baby in your family who can’t get the vaccine, but needs protection from the potentially deadly disease? According to the Centers for Disease Control, pertussis (whooping cough) is dangerous for infants, and can be easy to misdiagnose. Check your kids’ vaccine status with their pediatrician.
The CDC also recommends getting a flu shot as soon as the 2012-2013 vaccine becomes available.
Annual well-check visits can sneak up on parents during this busy time. Here’s how to get the most out of your child’s annual checkup. Keep these same tips in mind for teacher conferences, too:
• Be sure your doctor’s office and school office are up-to-date on your address and phone numbers.
• Have a brief list of specific details and questions, and bring a notepad to write down answers.
• Whether meeting with your child’s doctor or teacher, share information such as a death in the family, job loss or divorce that could be relevant to the child’s symptoms or behavior. Even if you’re embarrassed, these professionals need to know what’s going on at home in order to help your child.
Betsy Flagler is a mother and preschool teacher. Email p2ptips att.net or call 704-236-9510.
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