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Just because my school doesn’t require it, what should I do right now to best prepare my son for the new school year?

The State of Michigan now requires vaccination history be provided, so make sure all recommended immunizations are up to date. If your son is in high school, now would also be a good time to discuss getting the meningitis and HPV vaccines. Your pediatrician or primary care provider can provide you with counseling and administer the vaccines as well.

Have his hearing and vision checked. Often times, visual changes can be subtle, but can contribute to correct a potential learning challenge. Your pediatrician, primary care provider or local certified urgent care are an excellent resource to determine if there is an underlying vision or hearing problem.

Update his emergency medical records and contact information at school. If your son has any chronic medical issues like asthma, diabetes or seizure disorder, make sure there is a well-reviewed action plan, should there be an issue. Also update any allergy history.

Stay away from those jumbo backpacks! Backpack should not be more than 20% of your son’s total weight. Anything heavier can lead to issues with back pain, strain or even distort good posture.

Help him manage and relieve stress! The new school year always brings exciting new experiences, but can also be very stressful with new challenges. Getting plenty of sleep, eating a well-balanced diet providing good nutrition, and maintaining an active exercise routine can help make the new school year more successful.