Back to school health checks

Back to school health checks
(Source: Bill Allen/KFVS)
(Source: Bill Allen/KFVS)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - It's back to school time and with school, homework, and other activities your kids may be doing, now is the time to get them checked before things get too hectic.

"When students go to kindergarten, they're exposed to more disease," Dr. John Paul Leland with SoutheastHEALTH Pediatrics said. "Kids in close contact are more prone to spread these diseases."

Getting a wellness check for back to school is important, that includes getting the required vaccines.

"The science is clearly on the side of vaccines," Dr. Leland said. "There have been robust studies looking at risks and they have been determined to be safe and effective....cost should never be an obstacle when getting vaccines."

"There are certain programs in place so that any child that is underinsured or without insurance at all can come to the health clinic here and get their vaccines at no cost," Jaimie Cannon with the Cape Girardeau County Health Center said.

Other than vaccines, the cape health department also provides a "5-year-old well checkup" which includes vision and hearing screenings.

"So, the well check also gives the provider an opportunity discuss with the parents about any concerns that they may have about their development, behavior at home, eating habits or sleep habits, so it's a great chance to talk and kind of work out those concerns," Cannon said.

Cannon also stresses the importance of dental checks starting at age three.

"Dental health is very important," Cannon said. "We see a lot of clients who do not have their child going to the dentist yet. It's really important to get your kids in as soon as they start getting their teeth in."

The health department stresses that if your child is exempt from the required vaccinations if an outbreak happens, they will not be allowed in school for a certain amount of days depending on the disease.

For a list of the required immunizations for Missouri, click here.

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