The summer is a great time to get your child ready for the next school year. Besides the usual new clothes and school supplies there are several health items that can be ticked off the list as well. New immunizations, sports physicals and health condition updates are a few of those items.
The State of Indiana has issued a list of new immunization requirements for the 2013-2014 school year. Students entering grades 3 – 5 need a second varicella (Chickenpox) vaccine. If they have had that disease then a note signed by the doctor with the month and year needs to be on file. Grade 6 students will be required to have a Tdap (Tetanus/Pertussis), a second varicella (Chickenpox), and Meningitis vaccines. If they have had chickenpox then a note signed by the parent with the month and year needs to be on file.
The state has recommended but not required two doses of Hepatitis A for Kindergarten students and a booster of the meningitis vaccine for grades 11 and 12 if they received their first dose of this vaccine before their 16th birthday. For more information about immunization requirements you may visit the www.vaccinateindiana.org website. Proof of immunization or proof of an appointment will be required by the start of school.
You may obtain immunizations through your family physician, the Porter County Health Department by appointment at 759-8239 or North Shore Health Centers by appointment at (219) 763-8112. A copy of your child’s immunization record needs to be taken to appointments. If you need a copy, feel free to contact the clinic at the school your child attends to obtain one.
Sports physicals are available through your family physician and area clinics. All Portage students may take advantage of the following event. Portage High School and the physicians and staff of Lakeshore Bone and Joint Institute will be offering athletic physicals at the Portage High School Main Gym (Entrance Q) from 6 to 8 p.m. June 3 and 4. IHSAA physical forms are available online at their website or at the check-in table. The cost is $20. Sports physical forms must be completed and turned into the athletic department of the school the student attends prior to the start of practice.
If your student has a health condition, a note from their physician should be on file and updated yearly. This allows us to make sure that your child is taken care of appropriately while at school. If medication is needed please make sure that it comes in its original bottle whether it is a prescription or an over the counter medication. Parents must also sign a permission form for that medication to be kept at school.
Using the summer months to complete these items helps for a smooth start to your child’s school year. If you complete any of these items prior to summer registration feel free to bring them to the Health Services Table. As our school year comes to a close the PTS Health Services Staff hopes that you and your children have a happy and healthy summer.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion.