New York City Health + Hospitals reminded parents and guardians to schedule wellness checkups as well as immunizations, physicals, vision and hearing screenings and other health services before the start of the 2022-23 school year.
The first day of public school in NYC is Sept 8th and healthcare professionals have emphasized just how crucial screenings and vaccinations are when returning to school while the city still fights the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As we send our children back to school, we are acutely cognizant of the number of new infections that our children have been exposed to over the last two years, from COVID-19, its Omicron variant, and the new possibility of polio in the New York City and Tri-State Area,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Machelle Allen, MD in a statement Aug 24. “Therefore, it is of utmost importance that all children remain up to date with their well visits and immunizations. In addition, children benefit most when the family lives a healthy lifestyle including healthy foods, plenty of exercise, and a good night’s sleep.”
NYC requires that all children attending child care centers, public or private schools to meet specific healthcare requirements in order to attend these programs.
New and incoming students are required to get a physical exam – which includes vision and hearing screenings. Children attending child or daycare centers for the first time are also required to be tested for anemia as well as lead exposure which can cause learning and behavioral problems, brain and nervous system damage, delayed or slowed growth and development as well as hearing or speech problems.
“A child’s readiness for school is built on a foundation of family and community support, as well as the mental and physical wellbeing of both the child and their family,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Assistant Vice President of Pediatrics Katherine Piwnica-Worms, MD, MHS. “A child’s pediatric primary care medical home is a core component to addressing many of these needs, from staying up to date on preventive care like vaccinations and vision screening, to addressing emerging physical and mental health needs, and helping families to navigate social determinants of health community referral needs.”
Appointments for pediatric and adolescent services are available at NYC Health + Hospitals locations citywide at little or no cost by calling 844-NYC-4NYC (844-692-4692).
If your child is not a NYC Health + Hospitals patient, use the City’s Vaccine Finder or call 877-VAX-4NYC (877-829-4692) to schedule an appointment.