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Back to School 2012: Student Health Checks

Summer is a good time to schedule a physical so students don’t miss school for health exams. The school district advises physical and dental check-ups before the school year begins.

Many parents know that children need to be immunized to attend Washington schools, or have a physicians note. But there are other health check-ups that students should have before returning to school.

In most school districts, an annual physical examine is needed before a student can join a sports team, but a year check-up is a good idea for all students, according the American Academy of Pediatrics. The doctor can make sure the child’s growth rate is on track and get a base understanding of the child’s overall health.

“Getting a physical is a good first step toward getting kids ready for the school year,” said Sandie Tracy, registered nurse and health service supervisor for Northshore School District. “As parents, if our children are pretty healthy we get into our routines and sometimes forget that annual check-up.”

Parents of students with specific medical needs -- those who require medication during the day, for example -- should be sure to submit a release form to their child's school.

"For anyone who has a medical issue, a nurse alert form should be filled out and taken to the school before the first day of school," said Kathryn Reith, spokeswoman for the Lake Washington School District.

Medical forms for the Bellevue School District can be downloaded from its website.

The Bellevue School District starts classes on Sept. 4.

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