ORLANDO, Fla. – Students returning to school in less than a month have several items on the health checklist to consider this summer.
Board-certified pediatrician Dr. Candice Jones said parents of teens should check with their GP when to see a GP.
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“Some may see their patients until they are 18 and then transfer you to the adult world, but some keep their patients until they are 21,” Jones said.
Around the 10th or 11th grade, Jones said she interviewed teenage patients about their medical histories, medications, and previous hospitalizations to make sure they remember their own health histories.
“Just teach them how to advocate for their health and maintain their health on their own,” Jones said. “I tell them, ‘I’m preparing you, because one day you’re going to get out of the house, you’ll go to college or the military or someplace else and you’ll have to do this alone.'”
School-bound teens ages 17 and 18 should also check with their school about adolescent vaccinations.
“Hepatitis B, they want to make sure you’ve had your MMR, varicella, those teen vaccines like your TDAP, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough vaccine…and especially meningitis vaccinations,” Jones said.
She recommended visiting a college campus ahead of time and finding the nearest health center, emergency room, and hospital with your teen.
Some have asked if Florida schools will mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for children this fall.
“I don’t think so, you know, I don’t have a crystal ball and I don’t have all the answers,” said Dr. jones. “What I will say is that if your child is 12 years and older, I highly recommend and encourage you to get them vaccinated against COVID19.”
Jones said her practice has begun offering the COVID-19 vaccine to pediatric patients and their parents.
“I think that’s an extra layer of comfort when a parent can get it from the pediatrician’s office that their medical home is where they feel comfortable, rather than getting it from somewhere else,” Jones said.
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