A summer full of fun, sun and adventures is keeping children and parents
busy. With everything that happens in the summer, the new school year
seems months away, but, before you know it, the first day of school will be here.
With September quickly approaching, as a parent you will need to start
preparing your favorite students for the return to school. While stocking
up on school supplies, remember that your children also need other things
– like a back-to-school check-up - to prepare them for the academic
year ahead. These remaining summer months are a perfect time for you to
schedule any medical appointments for students from preschool to high school.
Making an appointment with your child’s primary care provider for
a back-to-school check-up or wellness exam, allows the provider to re-evaluate
and update your child’s medical history, refill needed medications,
update immunizations, and assess cognitive and physical development.
Mile Bluff’s pediatrician,
Dr. Ryan Plamann, encourages all parents to make these appointments. “Don’t
wait until the last minute to get your son or daughter in to the clinic,”
says Dr. Plamann. “Getting an annual physical gets your child ready
for a healthy and productive school year.”
Maintaining a regular schedule of these ‘well visits’ can also
help your child develop a trusting relationship with their healthcare
provider. This will enhance continuity of care and can ease a child’s
anxiety about going to the doctor. These appointments also help to establish
a baseline of information about your child’s health.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer childhood vaccines were given. Many
parents were concerned about exposing children to COVID-19 if they went
to a medical facility. This hesitancy has contributed to the decline in
the distribution of childhood vaccines. However, childhood diseases like
measles, mumps, chickenpox, and whooping cough, still pose a serious risk
to children and the community.
“I’ve been seeing some children who are behind on vaccines,”
says Dr. Plamann.” I think a lot of people were worried about bringing
their children into the clinic during the pandemic or had other barriers
to getting them in for an appointment. Now that the pandemic situation
is improving, it is time to get caught up!”
Many schools require children be vaccinated for these communicable diseases
to protect the health of all students. During your child’s back-to-school
visits, your healthcare provider will review your child’s immunization
record and will make sure your child is up-to-date.
Doctor Plamann continues, “It's important to keep on track with
your child’s vaccine series. Being partially vaccinated makes your
child susceptible to those illnesses. It is also better and more protective
for the community to have more people fully vaccinated to ensure we have
herd immunity from common diseases.”
In addition to routine vaccinations, children over the age of 12 are eligible
to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
By mid-August, practices for the fall sports season are usually up and
running. To make sure student athletes are healthy and ready to hit the
field or court, sports physicals are required by the Wisconsin Interscholastic
Athletic Association (WIAA). Sports physicals can help student athletes
discover and deal with health concerns that may interfere with sport participation.
Sports physicals are different than a well child exam, by focusing more
on a child’s physical condition as it relates to playing sports.
A wellness exam focuses on developmental and immunization histories, long-term
health concerns and health risk factors.
“Every two years, student athletes are required to have a sports
physical,” explains Dr. Plamann. “During these appointments
we go over the athlete’s medical history, family history, and complete
a physical exam to ensure he or she is able to participate in sports.
Your athlete may not be able to practice or play in games unless a physical
is completed, so check now to see if one is needed this year!”
When students come in for a sports physical, they will need to bring a
participation form from the WIAA.
Vision & Hearing Checks
Technology has greatly impacted our world and our overall health. “As
a part of your child’s health it is important to catch hearing and
vision problems early, as they can have a major impact on his or her learning
and quality of life,” explains Dr. Plamann. “As we become
a more connected society and our children utilize technology, I have been
seeing young patients more eye strain leading to poor vision and headaches.”
As you make back-to-school appointments, consider making one with an eye
doctor for a vision check or an
audiologist for a hearing screening. If you are unsure if one is needed, talk to your
child’s primary care provider to see what is recommended.
If you have questions about preparing your students for the start of school,
or would like to schedule a back-to-school check-up, providers, like Dr.
Plamann, are currently accepting new patients. To make an appointment
with a Mile Bluff healthcare provider, call one of the clinic locations below.
Delton Family Medical Center:
Elroy Family Medical Center:
Mile Bluff Clinic:
Necedah Family Medical Center:
New Lisbon Family Medical Center: