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Network Health Blog

Back to School. Back to the Doctor

child being seen by doctor for back to school checkup

Why Annual Well-Child Visits are Critical for Your Child’s Health

By Tara Dontje, senior quality care coordinator at Network Health
8/11/2022

School is right around the corner and so are the preparations that go along with it, including preventive care. This season is very busy, but it’s a convenient time to add well-child visits to the calendar, ensuring your children are up to date on immunizations and screenings. Regular well-child visits are essential to maintaining optimal physical, social and mental health for infants and children.

The Purpose of Well-Child Visits

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the benefits of well-child visits include four things.

  • Prevention – Ensure immunizations are up to date to prevent illnesses and discuss topics like nutrition and safety
  • Tracking growth and development – Discuss your child’s milestones, social behaviors and learning progress
  • Raising concerns – Bring a list of topics to discuss with your child’s personal doctor such as development, behavior, sleeping habits, eating habits and/or social interaction with family and friends
  • Team approach – Well-child visits provide the opportunity for providers and parents to work together to meet the needs of children

What Vaccines Does Wisconsin Require to Attend Public School?

If your child is behind on their vaccines, coordinate with their doctor so that any necessary immunizations can be administered at the time of their well-child visit. As of 2022, Wisconsin does require that public and private school students are vaccinated against certain diseases and that proof of vaccination is provided within 30 days of the student’s enrollment start date. The list of potentially necessary vaccines includes the following.

Grade/Age

Number of Doses

Pre-K (ages 2 – 4)

4 DtaP/DTP/DT

 

3 Polio

3 Hepatitis B

1 MMR

1 Varicella

Kindergarten – Grade 5

4 DtaP/DTP/DT/Td

 

4 Polio

3 Hepatitis B

2 MMR

2 Varicella

Grades 6 – 12

4 DtaP/DTP/DT/Td

1 Tdap

4 Polio

3 Hepatitis B

2 MMR

2 Varicella

Provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Your child’s doctor can assist in you in learning more and getting your child up to date on their vaccine schedule.

Should My Child Get the COVID-19 Vaccine Before Starting School?

If your child hasn’t yet received their COVID-19 vaccination, back-to-school time can be a great time for getting that taken care of to help them remain healthy and safe as they get back into the classroom.

This also applies to kindergarteners and children entering school for the first time. But younger kids new to the school environment may also benefit from learning about how to avoid germs in general. Consider having a conversation with them about washing their hands, covering their mouth when they sneeze, avoiding the sharing of food/drinks, etc.

[Read more: Use our back-to-school checklist for a safe and healthy start to the new year.]

Call to schedule your child’s well-child visit today and have a great school year.


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