Scheduling back-to-school wellness checks

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It feels like summer just began but already doctors say it’s time to think about scheduling back-to-school wellness checks for your kids.

A wellness check not only means making sure they’re physically well but also that they’re mentally well.

Dr. Pawitta Kasemsap, a pediatrician with Optum New Mexico, says the typical checkup starts with the basics. It’s about making sure a child’s vision is good, their height and weight are up to par and their vitals are normal.

“Part of being successful at school is that their physical health is up to par, right? Making sure that they have good nutrition, looking at food insecurity and helping parents find resources if that is the case,” Dr. Kasemsap said. “Also, we make sure their medicine is up to date as well.”

Another big part is mental health. Doctors, like Dr. Kasemsap, recommend getting your kids screened before the start of the school year.

“We do know that children can experience a mental health illness and again we want to address those things,” Dr. Kasemsap said.

Being we’re still a few weeks away from the first day of school, Dr. Kasemsap states now is the time to schedule those doctor’s appointments.

Also, if your kids are doing any sports, schools require a physical exam. You’ll also want to make sure your child’s immunizations are up to date. The state requires some immunizations too.