While the kids are still enjoying summer vacation, the first day of school is now a little more than a month away. Most students in Nebraska need an annual health screening. Doctors say right now is a good time to schedule that appointment, because there is usually a last minute rush and if issues are found, they should be addressed before school begins.
"There's a lot of people who wait until the last minute and it may take a while to get in with your doctor, you know, your doctor may be very busy. So it does, it does pay to start early," said Dr. Carla Church of Family Health Physicians in Lincoln.
She said that it is important to have your child checked before they are in the classroom because it will ensure that they are ready to succeed.
"It just gives them a chance to start the school year on the right foot and kind of hit the ground running.... and then if risk factors are identified, you have time to research and talk with your doctor and get those wrapped up before your child starts school," said Dr. Church.
There are changes that will take place in Nebraska, beginning with the 2014-2015 school year.
Students in grades pre-k, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 10 are required to have health screenings, instead of all students.
Schools can conduct health screenings throughout the school year, instead of only the first quarter.
Screenings include health, weight, BMI, vision, hearing and dental.
Dr. Church also checks for mental factors in children.
"We talk about social issues based on the different age groups as well as safety issues to prepare for," said Dr. Church.
With teenagers, they talk about social pressures that they may feel at school. With the smaller children, the focus is on growth and development. It is also an opportunity to recommend physical activity and a healthy diet.
It is important to note that these are screenings required for attending school, not sports.