Back-to-school checklist

by Katelin Whiddon

Whether it’s your favorite or most dreaded time of the year, school is starting back soon! For some parents, this season is especially stressful because their baby is entering school for the first time. Parents often have several questions on what has to be done prior to the first day of school.  

For kindergarten registration, your child’s pediatrician’s office will have to do a Well Child Check at which a physical exam is conducted. A child will need a booster for their MMR, Varicella and DTaP/Polio vaccines prior to starting kindergarten in addition to being caught up on their infant vaccines.  

Prior to starting the seventh-grade, children must have a Tdap immunization and their second doses of the MMR and varicella series. The Hepatitis A and HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) series, as well as the meningitis vaccines, are strongly recommended.  

Conway, Mayflower, Wooster/Greenbrier and Vilonia all start school back on Aug. 19. Conway Christian, however, begins on Aug. 15. Most kindergarten registrations have already occurred, but it is not too late to get things taken care of before the big day gets here. Schools will not allow children to stay enrolled if they are behind on vaccinations and did not do all of the required tasks for registration.

If your child has ADD/ADHD, they may need to get restarted on their medication a few weeks before starting school. Please be sure to schedule that appointment well in advance as most pediatricians’ offices are quite busy in the month of August. Neither you nor your child’s teacher will want them starting off the school year without any necessary medication.

Besides checkups and vaccines, there are several other things your child will need for school. Most stores that stock school supplies will have school-specific lists for supplies your child will need to begin the school year. There are often good sales that go on prior to the start of school, so always be on the lookout to get the best deals possible!

One of the most important things you can do for your kids before they start back to school is to spend quality time with them. It’s more difficult to spend time doing fun activities with your children when school, homework, extracurricular activities and the school year hustle and bustle begins. Try to get in a vacation or even a “staycation” with your kids before back to school. Go for a hike, go see a movie, paint pictures together, read books to each other, help in a community service project — just do something together that you can enjoy!

Time flies . . . it’s as if your baby was just born, but now they’re starting kindergarten or their senior year. Enjoy every day because it won’t be long until your child will be out of school, out of your home and on their own!