Friday, August 03, 2012

What You Need To Know About School Start

Back to School Health, Safety & Well-Being 
by Pat Dobbins, Hendry-Glades Health Department

LABELLE, FL. -- With only a few weeks left of summer break, parents are probably thinking about getting their child ready to go back to school. Along with school clothes and school supplies, parents should make sure preventative health measures are included on their child’s back-to-school checklist.

Success in school starts with keeping students healthy and safe. Parents should take their children to a healthcare provider for an annual “well-child” check-up and to make sure all vaccinations and medical records are in order. Healthy eating, adequate physical activity and good sleep patterns are also instrumental to success in school.

Parents should talk with their children about traveling safely to and from school. This includes planning safe routes for walking or riding a bike, reminding them to stay on the sidewalk, crossing the street only at designated crosswalks, and showing them how to properly wear a bicycle helmet if they are riding a bike to school.

If your child is old enough to start driving a car to school, please remind them of some of the basic rules of the road. Don’t be afraid to talk to your teen about safe driving. Allow them to take Driver’s Education if it’s offered at their high school. Ask your vehicle insurance company about programs available to teach teens about safe driving tips.

Children in Florida should never have to be without health care. Insurance can improve a child’s access to medications and treatment they may need to control childhood illnesses and decrease absences from school.

The state of Florida offers KidCare, a health insurance program for children from birth through age 18. Children can be eligible even if one or both parents are working. Children covered by Florida KidCare are eligible for comprehensive health care, including sports physicals, doctor visits, check-ups, immunizations, surgery, prescriptions, vision and hearing screenings, mental health care, dental check-ups and hospital stays.

Students with access to these and other preventative health care services are likely to be healthier and perform better in school. For more information about KidCare, visit or call 1-888-540-5437.

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