July 26, 2021
It is that time of year when parents are shopping for school supplies and kids clothing. While you are focusing on back-to-school needs, make sure to schedule wellness checkups for your kids.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends annual checkups for children from age two to 18. “As children head back to school, it is important to make sure they are healthy,” said Meagan Cobb, DO, ARH Family Medicine. “It’s also a great time to prevent or catch actual health problems.”
During annual wellness exams, a healthcare provider can check your child’s growth and development (height/weight) and make sure it is on track for his or her age; discuss proper nutrition and exercise; determine if vaccinations are up-to-date; screen vision and hearing and take urine and blood samples to make sure your child does not have a urinary tract infection and that the liver, kidneys and other organs are functioning properly.
Healthcare providers will discuss with parents and their children the importance of healthy eating and sleeping habits and other behaviors that will help them maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“Studies have shown that children who eat a nutritious breakfast have a higher concentration in school and more energy,” added Dr. Cobb. “Getting enough sleep is also important.”
The National Sleep Foundation published a study by 18 sleep scientists and researchers in Sleep Health that shows the number of hours needed by ages. These numbers reflect total sleep hours in a 24-hour period, so if your child still naps, take that into account when you add up his or her typical sleep hours.
· Age three to five needs 10 to 13 hours of sleep
· Age six to 13 needs nine to 11 hours of sleep
· Age 14 to 17 needs eight to 10 hours of sleep
Schedule an annual wellness checkup for your kids to insure they are healthy and ready to participate in school activities. For an ARH healthcare provider near you, go to www.arh.org.