Back-to-school checkups are not limited to youngsters entering kindergarten for the first time.

Regardless of age, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana’s executive vice president and chief medical officer Dr. Vindell Washington said, “It’s a chance to touch base with your doctor and plan together how you can improve your children’s health status and keep them healthy.”

Financial expense should not limit families from visiting their pediatrician or family practitioner annually, he said.

Most health plans cover wellness visits for children at low cost or $0 out-of-pocket cost, he said. 

During an office visit it is particularly important to make sure all vaccinations are up to date.

Washington said, the United States is experiencing the worst measles outbreak in 25 years in large part due to the increasing number of children who have not been vaccinated.

“Vaccines are an important part of your child’s health regimen. If you have concerns or aren’t sure which vaccines your child should receive, talk to your doctor,” Washington said. “Ask questions so your doctor can give you information and guide you through the process.”

In addition to updating shot records, checkups are also a good time for parents to get a good understanding of their child’s weight and Body Mass Index. Louisiana has the eighth highest obesity rate among children ages 10-17. The effects of childhood obesity can have lifelong chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, bone or joint conditions and certain types of cancers, he said


 

Washington shares more back-to-school wellness visit advice in the above video.

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