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Mecklenburg County Health Department wants to remind parents to add health and safety lessons to the list of things to do before the 2006-2007 school year begins.

August 18, 2006

Charlotte, NC – School bells are to ring soon across the Charlotte region and the Mecklenburg County Health Department wants to remind parents to add health and safety lessons to the list of things to do before the 2006-2007 school year begins.

A healthy school year begins with making sure your child's immunizations are up-to-date. "Childhood immunization is one of the most important things we can do to insure our children grow up healthy and free from the effects of serious vaccine-preventable diseases," said Dr. Stephen Keener, Medical Director for the Health Department.

In addition, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools follow North Carolina law that requires that all Pre-K through grade 12 students present evidence that they have a completed immunization record for their grade within 30 days of admission.

The Health Department will be holding a series of Big Shot Saturday clinics beginning in September, offering parents a convenient opportunity to get their kids vaccinated. Dates and locations for Big Shot Saturday will be announced in the coming weeks and you will be able to find that information on our web site. In the interim, parents and guardians can make an appointment to have their children immunized by calling the Health Department at 704-336-6500.

Before school begins, it's a good idea to have your child get a physical check-up. While the Health Department does not do complete physicals for children, there are a number of places where you can obtain the service. Children with a primary provider should be seen by that provider for all healthcare services. Parents of kids without a medical provider or health insurance should contact one of the following locations to obtain a physical:

  • CMC Myers Park-1330 S. Kings Drive 704-446-1425
  • CMC Northpark-   251 Eastway Drive  704-446-9991
  • CMC Biddlepointe 1801 Rozzelles Ferry Rd 704-350-1085
  • Metrolina Comprehensive Health Center 3333 Wilkinson Blvd. 704-393-7720

A good night's sleep and a healthy diet are essential to good learning. Children are more likely to be successful in school if they:

  • Eat healthy foods, including breakfast every morning.
  • Eat regular meals.
  • Are active at least 60 minutes each day.
  • Sleep at least 9-12 hours each night depending on the child's age (younger children require more sleep).
  • Insure that your child's backpack, when filled, weighs no more than 5 to 10 percent of the child's body weight.

No matter whether your child walks to school, takes the bus or rides a bike, it is extremely important to remind them of the potential hazards they will face.

  • Make certain your child only crosses the street with trained, adult crossing guards.
  • If biking, always wear a helmet, ride on the right side of the road in the direction of traffic, pay attention to stop signs and traffic signals, and wear brightly colored clothing so drivers can see them.
  • If riding the bus, teach the child to never walk behind the bus. If they must cross the street, they should walk on the sidewalk at least 10 feet ahead of the bus before crossing.

The Mecklenburg County Health Department hopes your children have a healthy and successful school year. For much more information on keeping your family healthy, visit the web site.

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