The Back to School Health Checklist: Grade Schoolers, Tweens and Teens

HPV vaccine? Lice check? Scoliosis? 15 ways to safeguard your child's health before school starts (16 Photos)

Linda Rodgers on Jul 29, 2011 at 3:30PM

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The Back to School Health Checklist: Grade Schoolers, Tweens and Teens

Jamie Grill/Iconica/Getty Images

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Don't Rush the Yearly Physical

It’s tempting to treat your tween or teen’s physical as another chore to check off your to-do list, but resist the urge to jam it between other errands. The chances of the pediatrician finding a new health concern are pretty slim, especially if your child has been seeing the same doc since babyhood, says Charles I. Shubin, M.D., director of pediatrics at Mercy Family Care in Baltimore. But yearly exams give everyone a chance to get a handle on behavior, developmental and even academic issues -- from troubles focusing, sitting still in class or risky behavior choices to body changes during puberty. If you or your child is tired or cranky during the appointment, you’ll both be too distracted to get the most out of the visit.

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