Albuquerque pediatrician discusses back-to-school wellness tips

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — We know there’s a long list of to-dos when it comes to back-to-school preparations but receiving a health check-up may be overlooked. 

“It’s kind of like taking your car to the mechanic to get an oil change. You know you have to do it every so often,” said Dr. Pawitta Kasemsap, of Optum New Mexico. “So it’s really important that children and adults really go in to see their doctors at least once a year for their annual check-up.”

When it comes to children, these checkups can be especially important, as different ages can bring a set of different concerns. 

“We want to provide information to the parents and what to expect at each age,” Dr. Kasemsap said. “You know around 12 years old you want to talk about puberty and of course around 16 to think about transitioning to adulthood.” 

As for vaccinations, Dr. Kasemsap says it’s important to make sure your kids are up to date on their required vaccines, while also keeping in mind other vaccines that may keep your child safe during the upcoming school year.

“The annual flu vaccine, the HPV vaccine among teenagers, and, of course, the COVID vaccine, I think, that’s really important to talk to your providers about,” the doctor said.

Dr. Kasemsap also recommends creating habits for your children, including getting enough sleep at night and having healthy meals throughout the day.