Starting The School Year Right

As many children head back to school this fall, are they verily prepared for the kind of lies ahead? With a few simple medicinal exams; Maine’sitting school-age children will exist armed with the tools they need to have a healthier school year. The exams we are referring to are given in a learned man’s and/or dentist’session office, and should take put before or shortly after the start of the commencing school year, and include a routine medicinal practitioner’s exam to confirm that all immunizations are up-to-date, a dental exam and a vision exam.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine is reminding parents about the importance of talking with their bantling’s doctor encircling the specific examinations their child should receive. This helps ensure that Maine’s young men population receives the subsist anxious it needs and deserves. “As parents take steps their children and teenagers for the change back to school, they need to make sure each child gets the recommended immunizations, along with an notice and dental exams,” notes Jeffrey Holmstrom, D.O., medical director, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine.

Dr. Holmstrom, who addition to serving as Anthem’s medical director, maintains an living practice. He recommends the following:


According to the Centers toward Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are many recommended vaccines for children and teens, including influenza, what one. should be given to quite school-age children from six months to 18 years of age. Other immunizations include:

— The meningococcal vaccine, which is recommended instead of those who are age 11-12 and at age 13-18 whether or not not previously vaccinated.

— The tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, which is recommended for all adolescents age 11-12 who have not accepted a spasmodic contraction of the muscles and diphtheria toxoids vaccine (Td) booster prescribed portion. Adolescents betwixt age 13-18 who missed the 11-12 Tdap dose or received Td only are encouraged to allow one dose of Tdap five years after the last Td/DtaP dose.

— The chicken-pox (chickenpox) vaccine. All children should admit two doses of the chickenpox vaccine at time of life 12-15 months and 4-6 years. Since the exposure to harm for the sake of transmission can be high among school-aged children and teens, those without ground of belief of immunity should receive two doses of the chickenpox vaccine and those who received undivided dose before should receive a second disagreeable lot.

— The rubeola, parotitis and rubella (MMR) vaccine. All children should receive two doses of the MMR vaccine. A first dose is recommended at ages 12-15 months and a assist prescribed portion at ages 4-6 years. If not previously vaccinated, children and teens age 7-18 should be vaccinated.

— The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, what one. is recommended for girls beginning at ages 11-12 and may subsist given up to age 26 to help reduce their likelihood of acquiring genital warts. The HPV vaccine is a three-dose series administered over a six-month period.

For the 2010-2011 flu season, which begins this fall, seasonal flu vaccine will include protection against the 2009 H1N1 strain. All children through age 18 should be immunized. Younger children who have never had a seasonal vaccine disposition need two doses.


According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Bright Futures, 3rd Edition, seminary age children should be evaluated for visual difficulties at their annual visit and formally screened according to the AAP’s recommended schedule.

In addition, the American Public Health Association (APHA) recently reported that one-in-four children in kindergarten through sixth grade has a vision problem. Some studies indicate that 80 percent of learning in children occurs visually; therefore, getting regular wont eye exams should be a major part of the hindmost to school preparation. Undiagnosed vision problems can lead to difficulty with schoolwork, resulting in poor performance.

According to the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) 2009 American Eye-Q® survey, 60 percent of children identified as “problem learners” actually suffer from undetected vision problems and in some cases have been inaccurately diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

“Having healthy eyes and clear vision can wish a major impact on class room performance,” said Dr. Holmstrom. “Conversely, poor vision may make learning difficult and ultimately may lower self esteem.”


Interestingly, while many parents make sure their child is current on their immunizations and vision exams; a visit to the dentist is often an afterthought. However, when children and teens get routine dental exams, many problems or issues can be caught early and possibly corrected.

The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) suggest parents take their child to a dentist as soon as the first tooth appears, or at least by his or her first birthday. And then start a regular routine of visiting the dentist for a dental exam in a schedule recommended by the dentist.

According to the CDC, more than 51 million school hours are lost each year nationwide because of dental-related illness, and more than half of children aged five to nine have had at least one cavity or filling, by 78 percent of 17-year-olds having experienced tooth decay.

Anthem provides coverage for most vaccines and exams. However, policyholders should confirm their specific benefits by calling the toll-free number listed on their insurance card.

“We encourage our members to make sure their children start the academy year off on the right foot health-wise by getting the recommended immunizations, and having their eyes and teeth examined,” said Dr. Holmstrom. “These exams are essential for keeping children and teens healthy and helping them to focus on their many activities during the school year.”

Source: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine

September 03 2010 09:06 am | Immune System

Comments are closed.