May 24, 2023


Summer fun is almost done, and school bells will ring again soon. So it's time to make sure our kids are healthy and ready to learn. Our Back-to-School Health Checklist covers everything you need. It's not just about getting the right pencils and notebooks — it's about keeping our kids fit, healthy and happy. Don't worry, parents! You've got this, and your RUSH pediatrician is here to help with everything on the list.

Recommended vaccinations: Children can get additional protection from the most current flu vaccination, and kids ages 5 and up can get the latest COVID-19 booster. The HPV vaccine, recommended for kids ages 9 and older, can help prevent the leading cause of cervical, head and neck cancers.

Mandatory immunizations: These are required for schoolchildren in Illinois, so make sure to keep records. Check with your child’s school to find out your district’s deadlines.

An annual checkup can let you know your child is healthy to start the school year. Students who play sports also need to get a sports physical, which is different from a regular checkup. It will help make sure your child is healthy enough to play.

Your child may find it hard to learn if they can't see or hear their lessons well. It's important to get them tested so you can manage any changes in their vision or hearing. These screenings are also mandatory in Illinois before kids enter kindergarten.

Kids should see the dentist every six months. Now is a good time to get it done and start the school year with a healthy smile. A dental exam is also required before entering kindergarten in Illinois.

Staying up late on long summer nights is fun but, get back to a bedtime routine before school starts. Children need nine to 12 hours of sleep each night between ages 6 and 12, and teens need eight to 10 hours of sleep.

Studies show kids who get good nutrition learn better. Stock up on healthy breakfast, snack and lunch foods. Avoid added sugars, and pack whole grains, fruit and veggies whenever possible.

Make sure your child has the supplies they need to stay safe and healthy.

Your child’s school should have a record of any medicine they need to take, including allergy and asthma medication. Make sure they have your latest emergency contact information.

Your RUSH pediatric primary care physician can help you coordinate and make referrals for everything on your back-to-school health checklist.

Learn how to find a doctor and schedule an appointment for your child.

You can also learn more about our Family Medicine Services to schedule physicals and immunizations for all members of your family.

Download the checklist.