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Check-ups help prepare students for the start of school

Dr. Veita Bland / August 4, 2018

Believe it or not, our wonderful summer is drawing to an end. Those wonderful warm summer days will shortly be a memory of the past and the carefree feel of this time will soon draw to an end. A sure sign of the passing summer is the fact that kids not attending year-round school will soon be back at the books.

The transition is now upon them. So, what are the things we want to check out from a healthcare point of view? Summer is a wonderful time to make sure that your child’s maintenance exams happen. During this time of year schedules are little less crowded. Have your kids received their annual eye exams? This exam often gets overlooked on so many levels. Make an eye exam a regular check-up for children to ensure they start the new school year off with good vision.

Do you think they are hearing well? Those ear buds and head phones, especially if loud, can do damage to one’s hearing. If you see signs of your child not hearing well, a hearing test may be in order.

There are also routine immunizations that are due for adolescents prior to returning to school. Some school systems will not allow the kids to enroll without them. When you see your health care provider make sure immunizations are reviewed and updated. The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC-P) and the Guilford County Health Department have wonderful up to date information informing the public as to the changes that have been made to the immunization schedule for this year. Go and check out these sites.

One of the most important things to think about is the transition from a summertime sleep schedule to school time sleep schedule. Sleep is such a crucial factor in health and one that I believe is over looked and underrated. A good night’s sleep is essential for good learning. Consider starting the transition by having your child begin to go to bed a little earlier a few weeks before the first day of school begins. It is also important to practice getting up a little earlier too. Hopefully we can then avoid that huge shock to the system for the kids when the first school day arrives.

Eating breakfast in the morning is also essential. Some school systems have changed their routine of automatic qualifications for meals and a sign-up stage is now needed. Be proactive if your child is receiving free breakfast.

Breakfast can be easy. Prepare as much as you can the night before. Make sure it is nutritious with fresh fruits. Remember to watch the fat content of some fast food offerings.

Check out the school lunch offerings. Help your child to pick their lunch offerings wisely. Taking a nutritious lunch from home may be an option.
When it comes to clothing, well-fitting shoes are a must. Shoe can be both stylish and fit well. Periodically allow a professional to fit the shoes of your child to make sure they are a proper fit. Check the bottom of the shoes to determine wear patterns. This helps determine whether the shoe is indeed well fitting and may indicate a need for a different type of shoe or even inserts.

The school year is going to be fun and productive. Start it off healthy.

Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays. Email Dr. Bland at


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