NYC Health + Hospitals Urges Parents And Guardians To Schedule Wellness Checks And Immunization Ahead Of School Year

August 24, 2022

NYC Health + Hospitals today reminded parents and guardians to schedule appointments for annual physicals, immunizations, vision and hearing, and other health services.

Let’s do it before the first day of public school on Thursday, September 8th, 2022.

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).

“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. “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.”

“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.”

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New York City requires that all children attending child care, public school, or private school meet certain health requirements. New students must get a physical exam, which includes screenings for vision and hearing.

Your child’s NYC Health + Hospitals provider will fill out a form to bring home and show their school before the start of class.

Kids receiving child care for the first time, including Pre-K, must also be tested for anemia and the presence of lead. Lead exposure in children can cause:

  • Learning and behavioral problems
  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Slowed growth and development
  • Hearing and speech problems

Vaccines protect children from getting and spreading diseases that can make them very sick. Kids aged two months to 18 years are required to get the following immunizations before attending class:

  • DTaP (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis)
  • Poliovirus
  • MMR (measles-mumps-rubella)
  •  Varicella
  • Hepatitis B

Vaccination is also the best way to reduce COVID-19 risk. NYC Health + Hospitals offers the Pfizer vaccine to patients ages six months to 17 years. The shots are safe, effective, and available in the pediatric practices of any of our hospitals.

If your child is six months to four years old and a NYC Health + Hospitals patient, please call your child’s pediatrician to schedule an appointment.

If your child is five to 17, you can schedule an appointment for their vaccine here.

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.

Flu vaccines are also highly recommended and have been updated for the 2022-2023 season. Children younger than five years old are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications including pneumonia, dehydration, and in rare cases it can lead to death.

You can receive the flu vaccine at the same time as all other vaccines, including the one to protect against COVID-19.

NYC Health + Hospitals also offers parents and guardians eight pieces of health advice to help children get ready for the school year, including advice on vaccination requirements, flu shots, nutrition, sleep, setting routines, and more.

For more information about back-to-school events happening at NYC Health + Hospitals, visit our webpage here.

Photo credit: NYC Health + Hospitals.

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