What's Going Around: Back to school health

In this Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Your back to school checklist should include the all-important yearly "well" check with the pediatrician. The yearly health review can be essential to your kids before they get sick.

Expect the medical provider to review your child’s vaccination history to ensure they're up to date. Check with your particular school’s administration for any guidance on how they document a student’s immunization status.

The check-up goes beyond the booster — there's also a look at your child's weight and growth. Dr. Mike Patrick said the office visit proves to be a time to spot potential health issues such as weight.

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Mike said developing healthy eating habits early is a good thing.

"High blood pressure and high cholesterol — those things that start in childhood can follow us through our teen years into our adult years," he said.

If you have a student athlete, a sports participation exam is recommended that is separate from the well check.

During the sports exam, providers will review topics including injury prevention, conditioning, developing a plan in case of injury and also talk about heart health and playing sports with conditions including asthma.

Mike, an emergency medical expert, said athletes have special needs beyond the regular well-check. He and other experts said those sports exams should be done where the physician knows your child or a hospital’s sports medicine program.

“I would really avoid seeing someone who's not a sports medicine expert who's cranking out lots of these exams," Mike said.