Thursday, August 5, 2010

Back To School Already??

Argh! Where did the summer go? Well, summer is nearing an end, and now we have the back-to-school rush. Our office is filled with last minute sports physicals and the mountain of forms that come attached. Please call your kid's physician now (if it's not already scheduled) and remember to bring in the school's paperwork with you to the visit, to save both you and us time and effort.

Why do we make you come in? First and foremost, because kids grow, bodies change, and we need to SEE them to be able to accurately assess them! Whether they are at risk for being overweight, have developed asthma or allergies, or simply started having periods- we need to know so we can appropriately treat them! Most schools require a doctor's note for even routine, over the counter medicines for headaches and cramps. Before we okay that, it would be nice to know more details- are the headaches turning into migraines? How frequent are they? Does the medicine upset your stomach? Etc. On the business end, yes, we charge for this. Not to be crass, but would you ask your pest control service to fill out forms certifying your house was termite-free without expecting a charge? It does take time and effort to check immunization records and fill out forms, so part of the business of medicine is that our offices expect payment for that time.

If you've got a child entering 7th grade, be aware that this is a mandatory vaccination year- Varicella (chicken pox), the meningitis vaccine, and a tetanus booster (Tetanus, Diptheria and Pertussis, TDaP). Got someone starting kindergarten? The new requirements include a hepatitis A series (2 shots) and Varicella. If you live in Texas, here is the press release that details these changes:

Every parent knows how hard it is to get back into the school routine, and that includes waking up EARLIER than summer for most. Please do not let your kid have that "last week of summer" excuse to stay up and sleep in even later! A week or two before school begins (which is NOW, in Texas) start cranking back bedtime and rising earlier. Sleep cycles are not happy when they are abruptly disturbed! Do it gradually, and the teachers will thank you, plus your mornings will be far less grumpy once the school bell rings!
Enjoy the last bit of summer and good luck for the upcoming school year!

BOTTOM LINE: Get those ducks in a row, and remember medical forms and sports physical requests can overwhelm doctors offices this time of year, so get yours scheduled now if they are not on the books yet!

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