Are Your Children Ready for School?

For children heading back to school, a proper checkup is important to evaluate any issues your growing child may have. Regular physicals are a chance for healthcare providers to discuss important health issues with children and their parents or guardians. These exams can make sure your child is healthy and physically prepared to participate in school activities or sports.

Back to school physical exams vary based on age, but typically include:

  • Recording your child’s height, weight, blood pressure, pulse and BMI
  • Checking your child’s heart, lungs, lymph nodes, abdomen, skin, eyes, ears, nose and throat
  • Evaluating your child’s vision, joints, muscles and spine
  • Discussing the medical history of your child and your family
  • Administering vaccines and required immunizations

Vaccines for Children

Vaccines are not only beneficial to your child’s health… they must have them before they go off to school. Babies, kids and adolescents will gain protection against 16 diseases, including:

  • Diphtheria
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza (flu)
  • Measles
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis (whopping cough)
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • Polio
  • Rotavirus
  • Rubella (German measles)
  • Tetanus (lockjaw)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Kids generally receive these vaccines during their well-baby, well-child, yearly or physical exams but school physicals are a good time to keep your child’s records current and up-to-date.

Up at Night?

A sleep disorder may be to blame.

Is Mr. Sandman ignoring you? Many people have trouble sleeping from time to time, but if the problem is lingering night after night, you may have a sleep disorder. Sleep disorders are conditions that affect how well and how much you sleep.

Struggling through the day with less sleep isn’t the answer – insufficient sleep is a serious problem that can take a toll on nearly every aspect of your daily life. Research has linked sleep deprivation to car accidents, relationship issues, poor job performance, work-related injuries, memory lapses and mood disorders. Studies also suggest sleep disorders may contribute to health problems such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Poor bedtime habits, such as coffee too late in the afternoon, eating heavy foods before bed or falling asleep with the TV on could be to blame. However, sometimes medical problems that disrupt your sleep cycle are the culprit.

When to call the doctor

There are steps you can take to combat sleep disorders on your own, but some situations require medical attention. Call your doctor if you snore loudly or gasp during sleep, if you think a medical condition is keeping you up at night, if you’re tired all the time or if you fall asleep during daytime activities. Your doctor can recommend a sleep study to get you back to snoozing well.

Sleep studies analyze your body’s sleep patterns throughout the night. This involves the placement of special sensors that record the activity of your heart, lungs, brain and muscles during the study. The sensors also monitor the air flow from your nose and mouth, as well as the level of oxygen in your blood.

Most sleep disorders are easily treated and can greatly improve your quality of life. Sleep studies are usually covered by insurance as an outpatient procedure and is completed with a short stay in the sleep lab.