It may seem like school just ended for the summer, but it is never too early to be prepared for the next school year.
In addition to the basics, such as school supplies or new clothes, a student’s health and well-being should also be taken into consideration. This includes standard hearing and vision checks and getting the proper vaccinations.
Wellness visits are important annual appointments that should be on parents’ to-do lists as they prepare their child for school.
Parents are advised to call their pediatrician and make an appointment, preferably in June or July, said Diana Peterson, MD, a pediatrician with Trinity Health.
Wellness visits help to track growth and developmental milestones; to give parents and pediatricians the opportunity to discuss any concerns about a child’s health; and to get children scheduled for vaccinations to prevent illnesses like measles, whooping cough (pertussis), and other serious diseases.
Students entering kindergarten need to get vaccinations for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella. Students entering the sixth grade need to get vaccinated for tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and a menactra shot for meningococcal meningitis. When they turn 16, there is the MenB vaccination, a two-dose series of shots geared for meningococcal B, a different strain of meningococcal meningitis. Gardasil, an optional vaccination for human papillomavirus (HPV), is recommended for children age 11 and up. The COVID-19 vaccine is also available.
“If they’re behind on something, we’ll catch them up,” Dr. Peterson said.
To schedule a wellness check, contact a Trinity Health pediatrician. Trinity Health’s team of pediatricians includes: Melissa Andreasen, MSN, FNP-C; Katharyn Bugardt, FNP-C; Ann Cadwalader, MD; Michael Holland, MD; Frederick Jones, MD; Allison Lesmann, FNP-C; Friday Osuala, MD; Diana Peterson, MD; William Sisa, MD; and Anthony Udekwe, MD. They are based at 400 Burdick Expy E, Minot. For appointments or consultations, please call 701-857-5413.
Steve Mattson, MD, is based at 1500 24th Ave SW, Ste 103, Minot. For appointments or consultations, please call 701-857-5343.
Joseph Stonehocker, CPNP-PC, is based at 1321 W Dakota Pkwy, Williston. For appointments or consultations, please call 701-572-7711.