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Back to School Checklist: Sports Safety and Immunizations

September 12, 2023 Posted in: Health & Wellness  3 minute read time


As students and school staff have now settled into their classrooms, new school supplies aren’t the only thing to keep in mind to ensure the school year continues successfully. Parents and guardians should also remember to keep students’ health and safety at the top of the list.

Keep Immunizations Up to Date

While the first few months of being back at school can be an exhilarating time for students and their families, staying up to date on immunizations will help children and teens keep a positive momentum going forward throughout the school year, helping keep them safer and healthier. 

Keeping children up to date on vaccines throughout their adolescent years is important because it can provide immunity before they’re exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. Vaccines are recommended for children and adolescents based on age, health conditions and other factors. One of the easiest ways for parents to know which vaccines their children should get – and when – is by following the 2023 updated vaccine schedules on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website. 

Practice Sports Safety to Reduce Risk of Injury

In addition to vaccines, sports safety – especially during football season – is another essential health topic for parents and young athletes. According to a recent CDC study published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, tackle and flag football players sustained twice as many head impacts during a game than during practice. The statistic is particularly alarming because head impacts increase the risk of concussion and other serious head injuries in young athletes.

While football is the leading cause of school sports injuries, it’s not just those high-impact moments during a game that should have parents paying particular attention to their student-athletes. According to the Brain Injury Research Institute, an estimated 1.6-3.8 million sports and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year, and many go untreated. Parents and coaches should watch for signs of a young athlete suffering from a concussion, such as a headache, dizziness, blurry vision, nausea or vomiting, and confusion.

Along with concussions, students involved in organized athletics may also experience knee or shoulder injuries, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

As your kids are now settled into their classrooms and are taking to the fields this fall, talk with their pediatrician to ensure they are up to date on immunizations and have strategies to combat concussions and lower their chance for a sports-related injury. 

Staying healthy starts with a strong relationship with your doctor. Primary care providers are here to listen, to lean on and to provide the expert care to keep you and your family well. Need a provider? Find a provider online or schedule an appointment.

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