It’s that time of year again: back to school. Along with new backpacks and binders, scheduling an annual well-child visit should be on every family’s back-to-school list. Well-child visits ensure that kids are growing and developing well and that they are ready for another year of learning and discovering both in and out of school. Marlette Regional Hospital (MRH) and McKenzie Health System (MHS), affiliates of United Healthcare Partners, encourage everyone to visit their primary care provider annually to allow for health monitoring as well as building a strong relationship between provider and patient.
Furthermore, school sports physicals, which are required for most local sports, can be completed during your visit. August is also National Immunization Awareness Month, which highlights the importance of up-to-date vaccinations for both kids and adults.
“In addition to checking in with your doctor once a year, we encourage kids of all ages to make great nutrition and hydration a part of every day, which can help with focus, balanced energy and overall performance,” said Matthew Gormley, MD of McKenzie Health System – Croswell Clinic. “When you establish strong and healthy habits early in life, it is much easier to maintain them over time. Stress and busy schedules can take a toll on students, so it is critical that they have healthy outlets, including physical activity, relaxation, family time and open communication.”
MHS and MRH also recommend that parents make it a priority to talk with their children regularly and address any issues—including scheduling, stress, school work and overall health—that have cropped up. Families should also discuss the importance of abstaining from alcohol and drugs and follow up on their kids’ goals and plans.
“Whether you are a parent, grandparent, or guardian, supporting your kids’ health and wellness is one of the best things you can do for their growth, confidence and success,” said Shannon Cournaya, MSN, FNP-BC of Marlette Family HealthCare, “and a back-to-school well-child visit is just one way to make a difference and let your kids know how much you care.”
If you do not currently have a primary care provider, please visit www.marletteregionalhospital.org or www.mckenziehealth.org for find a care provider close to you. You can also call Marlette Regional Hospital at 989-635-4000 or McKenzie Health System at 810-648-6161.