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.

Eye check

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 check

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.

Vaccinations

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.

Dental check

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.

Ashlie Meigh

Ashlie Meigh

Ashlie joins the Tweed Health for Everyone team as one of its newest members in 2019. This marks her return to the region in which she grew up and she is looking forward to serving the community that she loved as a child. Having first studied business and then going off to do extensive travel, au pair work and teaching dance, she eventually found a passion for health and helping others and went to study medicine at Bond University in 2008. She completed her internship and residency at Gold Coast University Hospital. She has done specialist GP training on the Gold Coast and extended study in Paediatrics through the Diploma of Child Health. Ashlie enjoys all aspects of General Practice and has a particular interest in women’s and children’s health. Along with her physiotherapist husband, she practises what she preaches in terms of living a healthy lifestyle. She has two small children and a growing collection of backyard chickens and bees that all keep her very busy when she’s away from work // www.thesc.com.au