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Back-to-School Checklist: Not Just for Kids!

Here are some helpful health-related things that are important for adults to pay attention to as well.

Immunizations – Schools generally won’t allow children to enroll without an up-to-date immunization record, so it’s easy to remember these important shots. But as we get older we sometimes forget that there are still recommended vaccinations at every single age, and often annually, such as the Influenza vaccine. Check here to see which vaccines you need and at what age. 

Allergy check – Children tend to experience the most intense allergies, at times requiring some serious precautions such as carrying around an EpiPen®. However, allergies are mysterious things and often times adults heading in to their 30s will see a resurgence of these allergies or find themselves with a whole new host of responses to allergens. Discuss new allergy concerns with your doctor who, depending on the severity of your symptoms, may request an allergy test. Often, over-the-counter allergy medications work really well. Consult with your doctor to find out which one works the best for you. 

Vision and hearing - As many as one in 20 children can’t see well, and it’s a known fact that kids who can’t see well can’t perform as well in school. The same goes for adults – decreased vision or even hearing can lead to a host of side effects ranging from medical to emotional. It’s imperative that adults get their vision screened once-per-year, and as we age, glaucoma and hearing loss screenings shouldn’t be avoided. 

Nutrition check – School-provided lunches are much healthier these days, making it easier for parents to send kids off to school without a pre-packed lunch. But as adults, we tend to make poor lunch or snack choices due to our packed daily schedules and work. Think about packing yourself a healthy ‘brown bag’ lunch the night before, full of healthy proteins, vegetables, and healthy snacks. 

Review your bag choices – Often we don’t think about picking out a backpack or bag that won’t hurt our kids’ backs when they get overloaded with books and homework, but it’s still an important topic. As we get older, we think less about how uncomfortable our computer bags or purses are making us, and more about fashion. Overloaded bags can cause a host of problems, from throwing your muscles off balance to tension headaches. Consider reducing the weight in your bag, switching shoulders, or participating in yoga or Pilates classes – which can help ensure your shoulders and back are equally strong. 

A Primary Care Physician (PCP) can help you watch over your health and wellness and ensure that you get the necessary tests and screenings you need. If you don’t have a PCP please call the El Camino Hospital Health Line at 800-216-5556 for a free physician referral.

This article was originally published August 2014 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter and has been updated for accuracy.

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