Dr. Jim Martin 07/30/2018

Summer's end is just around the corner and it won’t be long before fall arrives and children will be heading back to school. That means it’s time to start hitting the back-to-school sales, stocking up on supplies and buying new clothes to replace the items your kids have outgrown. However, as you’re preparing for their first day back, don’t forget that this is also a great time of year for annual health checkups. Here are the three most important appointments you need to make before the school year starts.

1. Optometrist: Many parents believe their children don’t need to visit the optometrist regularly, either because they don’t wear glasses or have passed cursory vision screenings. However, proper vision is essential to learning, and your child’s school work will suffer if he or she struggles to see the chalkboard or read books. Poor sight can also affect physical activities, resulting in apparent clumsiness or tripping.

For these reasons, optometrists recommend regular eye exams to detect and correct vision problems early on. Prior to starting pre-school or kindergarten, your child should visit an eye care professional; thereafter, make an appointment once every two years for kids without diagnosed vision problems. Talk to your optometrist about scheduling visits if your child does have eye conditions.

2. Pediatrician: Regular visits to the doctor are essential for children and are required by law for certain ages. An annual appointment with a pediatrician involves checking vital signs and testing for various conditions, including blood pressure, diabetes and anemia. There are also certain inoculations your child will need before attending school, such as measles, mumps and rubella vaccines. Even if they received certain vaccinations as infants, updates may be necessary. Regular pediatric checkups are also important for ongoing health and well-being, as the doctor will discuss exercise and nutrition with your child.

3. Dentist: Your children should visit the dentist regularly, so summer is a perfect time to schedule an appointment. Oral health is critical to your child’s development and smart dental habits now ensure their teeth and gums stay healthy for years to come. What takes place at these checkups depends upon the child’s age, but you can expect a thorough cleaning and x-rays to detect the existence of cavities. In some cases, the dentist may diagnose the need for braces or other corrective appliances.

Now is the time to start making health-related appointments for your kids, before they head back to school and would need to miss classes for checkups. Because vision is so critical to learning, the optometrist should be at the top of your list. Please contact us at Broome Optical to schedule an appointment for your children today.

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