Back-to-School Health Tips for the 2022-2023 School YearAsk Our ExpertChildren's Health
A healthy start to a new school year starts with a visit to your child’s doctor. Dr. Katherine Piwnica-Worms, Assistant Vice President, Pediatrics at NYC Health + Hospitals, offers eight back-to-school health tips to help you prepare your kids for a healthy year.
Back-to-School Health Tips for the 2022-2023 School Year
- COVID-19 Readiness
Vaccines are a safe and effective way to protect children and their communities from COVID-19. Children aged 6 months and older should get their first vaccine dose and be fully vaccinated before school or daycare starts. Students should continue to practice health and safety skills throughout the year including frequently washing hands. Make sure to let your child’s doctor know if your child tests positive for COVID-19 so you can discuss when it is safe to stop isolation and resume physical activity/sports activity.
- Annual Physicals
To support your child’s back-to-school health, make sure they visit their doctor every year. Yearly physicals are important to ensure children are growing and developing properly.
- 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 child care or school. Check the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website to find the latest information on vaccine requirements for your child. You can also find more details by visiting the NYC Department of Education website. NYC Health + Hospitals also offers the HPV vaccine for all children, adolescents, and young adults starting at age 9 years. The vaccine against HPV is highly recommended and can help prevent certain types of cancer.
- 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.
- Flu Shots
The flu is a contagious illness that infects the nose, throat, and lungs and can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications, especially for children. Every child six months or older should get the flu shot once every year. Flu season changes every year but can start as early as October and usually peaks between December and February.
You can help your 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. Check out this nutrition resource guide for parents that has information for you and fun projects and activities for kids to learn about nutrition.
Consistent routines help keep children alert and productive during the school year and can be a life-saver 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.
Adequate sleep helps keep kids focused each day at school and is important for their health.
These back-to-school health tips will help you and your family return to the classroom safely and confident in your health. For more information on navigating COVID-19 this fall, review the rest of our COVID-19 resources for all New Yorkers.
Establish Family Health Care with NYC Health + Hospitals
To make an appointment for your child’s annual physical or find out more information on where to get a COVID-19 vaccine for all New Yorkers aged 6 months or older, call 1-844-NYC-4NYC or 1-877-VAX-4NYC.