Back to School: Vaccinations are essential for a healthy school year

NYC Health + Hospitals on Sept 6 reminded parents and guardians to schedule appointments for annual physicals, immunizations, vision and hearing, and other regular checkups. Public school starts on Thursday, September 7th. Appointments for pediatric and adolescent services are available at NYC Health + Hospitals locations citywide at little or no cost by calling 844-NYC-4NYC (844-692-4692). 


“A healthy start to the new school year begins with a regular visit to a child’s pediatrician,” said Katherine Piwnica-Worms, MD, MHS, NYC Health + Hospitals Assistant Vice President of Pediatrics. “Having a regular doctor or visiting a pediatric group is essential not only at the beginning of the school year, but all year round. This will enable parents to get answers to health-related questions about their child, and to help their child address any emerging physical and mental health needs. Parents can call 844-NYC-4NYC now to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician.” 


NYC Health + Hospitals offers comprehensive pediatric and adolescent health services at little or no cost. Pediatric services include, immunizations and annual flu shots, physicals, asthma and diabetes screenings, obesity prevention, nutrition counseling, dental services, mental health screenings and counseling. Adolescent services for those aged 12 and older include, primary care, sexual and reproductive health services, LGBTQIA+ care, mental health and depression help, and sport physical and sports injury care. 


As children return back to school this week, below are essential tips for keeping kids healthy this school year and beyond: 


·         Annual Physicals – Yearly physicals are important to ensure children are growing and developing properly. 

·         COVID-19 Readiness – Children aged 6 months and older should ideally get their first vaccine dose and be fully vaccinated before school or daycare starts. 

·         Flu Shots – Every child six months or older should get the flu shot once every year. 

·         Other Vaccinations – Vaccines are necessary to help protect children and others against disease. In New York City, all students must get their age-appropriate vaccinations in order to attend childcare or school. 

·         Vision and Hearing Tests – Children should have their hearing and vision routinely tested with their doctor from infancy through high school. Watch for signs of hearing or vision loss and talk to your child’s doctor if you notice any changes. 

·         Nutrition – Parents can help kids make healthy food choices – even at school. Encourage them to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. When eating bread or pasta, choose 100% whole-grain products. Encourage them to choose water, not juice or soda. 

·         Routines – Consistent routines help keep children alert and productive during the school year and can be a lifesaver when it comes to avoiding problems at bedtime. Afterschool routines should include consistent after-school activity and homework schedules, TV time, dinner schedules, and bedtime routines. 

·         Sleep – Adequate sleep helps keep kids focused each day at school and is important for their health. 

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