Back to School Health Checklist

Image from Unsplash

Image from Unsplash

Post By: Molly Esselstrom, Upstream Research Marketing Manager

Back to school means many things to parents and their children. It’s the anticipation of a new year, grade, or look. The leaves changing from green to hues of yellow and red. And a never-ending checklist of things to do before the academic calendar begins once more. However, part of the checklist that often gets ignored is health. Below are four things parents should move to the top of their list this back to school season:

1) Check Air Quality: Clean air is constantly on environmental agendas on the local and international levels. A child’s symptoms are perhaps the first indication of poor air quality, including headaches, eye/nose/throat irritation or soreness, and congestion. While these are not hard and fast rules to poor air quality, when combined with widespread symptoms and sudden onset in a community, it may be time to speak with a doctor and contact your child’s school district.

2) Check Water Quality: In recent national newswater pollution has been a scare for parents sending their children to school. Besides contacting the school district to check water toxicity levels, parents can monitor their own water if it becomes discolored (rusty, green, blue), has a metallic taste, or low water pressure is combined with prolonged discoloration.

3) Asthma Risk: While often related to poor air quality, asthma deserves a bullet point of its own. Upwards of 25 million people in the US have asthma with rates often more prevalent in children than adults. Seeking an allergist to aid in the treatment of asthma will help children once again be physically active and healthy.

4) Lead Paint: Yes, even the paint in your house or child’s school should be on your checklist. Lead-based paint is a toxic metal that can pose a serious threat in and around houses, especially to young children. While many houses built before 1978 often used lead-based paint, the best way to be sure your house is free of this materials is to hire an inspector to do a risk-assessment.

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