Medical checkups a must before school starts

PHILADELPHIA, PA.; August 17, 2011

16-year-old Ambria Reaves is getting ready to go back to school. On her to-do list is a medical appointment at Drexel's 11th street family health services.

Like many students, she needs a sports physical because she runs tracks and cheers for her school - Girard College.

She has to get some shots in order to be up-to-date on her vaccinations.

Many teens may need a booster shot of the meningitis vaccine this year. All kids are required to be vaccinated unless they are exempt.

A dental exam should also be on the to-do list.

Nurse practitioner Mary Thornton-Bowmer says, "So they won't have to miss anytime from school- get their regular cleaning and get any problems fixed- get it all out of the way."

Another must is a comprehensive eye evaluation, not just an eye exam.

"It can pick up eye diseases and believe it or not also some learning disabilities," says Thornton-Bowmer.

She says now is also the time to address any other concerns, such as weight or nutrition.

That way once that school bell rings, students will be ready to do their best.

"That's what I am hoping to do this year- get my grades up so I can get into the college I want to get into," says Ambria.

And one more reminder- if your child has medical problems, allergies or takes any medication- let your childs school nurse and teacher know.

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