Grand Strand pediatrician urges parents to add ‘doctor’s visit’ to back-to-school to-do list

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 7:46 AM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - There are several things parents need to do before their child heads back to the classroom, and a back-to-school check-up should be at the top of the list.

Lucretia Carter, the pediatric medical director at Tidelands Health, said parents should schedule back-to-school checkup appointments soon to avoid running into delays.

SPECIAL SECTION | Back-To-School 2022

“It’s just good to make sure you plan early and schedule those appointments early because many of us do experience an influx of patients wanting to get appointments in at the last minute when they’ve let some things slide by,” said Carter.

Carter said it’s important to find out which vaccines your child is not up-to-date on and which are required to have before heading back to school.

Parents are encouraged to speak with their pediatricians or primary care provider if they have any questions about vaccines or if their child should receive them.

While the COVID-19 vaccine is not required for students at Horry County schools, according to South Carolina DHEC, there are seven shots required for students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade in both public and private schools:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • DTaP (tetanus, whooping cough)
  • Polio
  • MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Tdap (whooping cough booster required before seventh grade)

In addition to staying updated on required vaccines, Carter said children should visit their pediatrician at least once a year for a wellness exam.

During wellness exams, doctors check key development milestones, monitor any conditions like asthma or allergies and review your child’s overall health.

Carter said basic practices of keeping germs away is the best way to avoid those back-to-school colds.

“Good hand washing, covering your mouth when you sneeze, washing your hands frequently. Those things still apply and will always apply. So, let’s not forget those safe practices we learned during the height of the Covid experience,” said Carter.

It’s important to keep your child out of school if they do not feel well.

According to the CDC, if your child has a fever, keep them at home until it’s gone for at least 24 hours to make sure they are not contagious.

The CDC also recommends cleaning surfaces and objects like desks and door knobs frequently.

Horry County Schools is not requiring students to wear masks this year, so it’s important to take extra precautions to keep your children healthy.

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