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Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The first day of school will be here before you know it. Pediatric primary care providers at the Cook County Health & Hospitals System are reminding Illinois parents that students entering pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade are required to undergo a health physical and receive required immunizations.
A thorough annual check-up is important for your child’s health. Your child’s doctor will record height and weight, screen for lead and anemia, monitor blood pressure and heart rate, and check the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, throat, lungs and abdomen. It’s also an opportunity to discuss nutrition, exercise, safety and injury prevention.
Dr. Tais Crawford, a family medicine physician at Cottage Grove Health Center in Ford Heights, encourages parents to be prepared with a full health history for the child and family.
“It’s important to review the child’s medical history to monitor his or her growth and development, but it’s also vital to understand the family health history to help us understand chronic illness that may run in the family,” said Dr. Crawford. “The goal is to prevent serious illness through early detection and treatment.”
The medical history review will also include ensuring your child is up to date on vaccinations. Dr. Crawford discourages parents from raising the fear factor of vaccinations by making a big deal out of shots or threatening kids with a shot when they misbehave.
“Fear of pain is often actually a bigger problem than the actual pain of a shot,” said Dr. Crawford. “If the parent and doctor are supportive and calm, the child won’t be as frightened.”
A couple of tips to take the sting out of shots:
• Distract your child with a toy, telling a joke or pointing out a picture on the wall.
• Ask for the least painful shot first.
• Sweeten the shot with a sugar-free lollipop.
• Offer a reward. Children at the Cottage Grove Center receive a prize after a physical.
The Cottage Grove Health Center works closely with District 169 to ensure children don’t miss school because of incomplete physicals or immunizations. Proactive efforts include completing physicals and immunizations near the end of the school year for pre-K and 5th graders. Students who did not complete physicals before summer break ends are reminded at registration and can immediately set up an appointment at the Cottage Grove Health Center.
Contact your health provider to schedule an appointment or to find a CCHHS provider close to you, contact the CCHHS Patient Support Center at 1-312-864-KIDS.
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