Health tips for back-to-school success


Health tips for back-to-school success

As you check off the list of back-to-school items for your student, be sure to remember your child’s health and wellness needs, too.
For starters, getting an annual physical will help your child start the school year in a healthy way. During the wellness visit, a pediatrician will check key developmental milestones, monitor conditions such as asthma or allergies and review your child’s overall health. Wellness exams are often done just before the school year begins and also help children stay up to date on immunizations.
“A child’s overall health affects every part of life. A healthy child is a happy, learning child,” says Dr. Lucretia Carter, pediatric medical director at Tidelands Health. “Our team of pediatricians at Tidelands Health Pediatrics has already seen a number of children preparing for the school year. A visit with a pediatrician can help your child make the most of the new school year.”


Children are required to stay up-to-date on many vaccines including hepatitis A, chickenpox and more before returning to classrooms, as outlined in the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s immunization requirements for childcare and school.

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Dr. Carter encourages parents to talk with their pediatrician or primary care provider if they have questions about the vaccines and when a child should receive them.
In addition to making sure your child stays up-to-date on immunizations and gets an annual wellness check, Dr. Carter offers the following tips to help your child throughout the school year:

Remember hand hygiene.

Proper handwashing remains an important step in helping limit the spread of viruses including colds. Encourage children to regularly wash their hands using soap and water for 20 seconds or to use hand sanitizer.

Practice healthy eating habits.

Not sure what to pack for your child’s lunch? Tip: Make it appealing while also being healthy. Find ideas that are healthy and fun here.

Stay active.

Physical activity is crucial for a child’s overall health. Encourage your child to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily – whether it be on the playground, a walk or via organized sports. Make physical activity part of the family’s daily routine or provide your child with sports equipment.

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Need gently used sports equipment? Check out the Gear Up for Good event Aug. 12 at the Claire Chapin Epps Family YMCA, 5000 Claire Chapin Epps Drive in Myrtle Beach. Tidelands Health is the exclusive health system partner of the YMCA of Coastal Carolina, and the two organizations work closely to offer programs and initiatives to help people live better lives through better health.

Stay home if sick

Children who are sick or showing symptoms of illness should stay at home until they feel better. See a doctor for diagnosis and medication, if needed.

Protect your child’s mental health, too.

Watch for signs of anxiety or stress and any concerning changes in your child’s behavior. Talk with your pediatrician about any changes or concerns. If needed, a pediatrician can offer ways you can provide support or help your child seek additional resources or treatments.
“The start of the school year is always an exciting time, and we are eager to partner with parents to help their kids get a healthy start and make the most of the school year,” Dr. Carter said.
For more information or to make an appointment at Tidelands Health Pediatrics or Tidelands Health Family Medicine, call 1-866-TIDELANDS.

 Dr. Lucretia Carter is a pediatrician who practices at Tidelands Health Pediatrics in Myrtle Beach. 

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