We all want to give our kids the best start to their schooling year and set them up for success. But while you may have ticked all the boxes on the school supplies list, there may be something even more essential that you’ve been overlooking.
So much of a child’s school success is dependent on good eyesight – learning to read, seeing the board from a distance, focusing on fine details and having good hand-eye coordination during sports – and difficulties with vision could have negative effects on their ability to learn and concentrate.
Hearing difficulties can also easily go unnoticed and can have profound effects on language and learning. Hearing problems can result from a variety of circumstances: genetic causes, childhood illnesses, recent or recurrent middle ear infections or prolonged exposure to loud noises. It is a good idea to get a check prior to the start of kindergarten and prep, but if you have concerns at any other point it is always a good idea to see your GP for an assessment.
Most schools now request your child’s Immunisation History Statement as recorded by the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) at enrolment, so now is a great opportunity to check that your child is up to date and has the best protection against preventable diseases. Don’t forget that there are additional vaccinations that are not on the National Immunisation Program such as Influenza and Meningococcal B vaccines that you can talk to your GP about to see if they are appropriate for your child.
Regular dentist trips are the best way to stay on top of any developing dental issues. This is important because decay and cavities can lead to pain, distraction and school absence. Protect their teeth further by including healthy lunches and snacks for the school day, and providing plain water for drinking instead of energy drinks or juices.