Keep Your New College Student Healthy

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If you’re sending a kid off to college for the first time, below are some tips from the Mayo Clinic.

Start with a pre-college physical exam. Since living in cramped quarters with hundreds of other students increases the risk of infectious diseases, consider these extra vaccinations: Meningococcal disease, Hepatitis B and Influenza.

Urge your child to get enough sleep. While “all-nighters” may appear to be the way to prepare for exams, they can be avoided by strengthening study and time-management skills. Invest in some earplugs and eyeshades for your child in case s/he ends up living in a noisy dorm or has a roommate who stays up ‘til all hours.

Alcohol is still a prominent feature of social life on most campuses, even though most students are underage. Remind your child that drug use and underage drinking are illegal.

Tell your child to find out where the campus health services are and how they operate shortly after arriving at school.

If your child is covered by your health insurance, give your child his/her own insurance card and all the pertinent phone and account numbers. If not, many colleges offer low-cost insurance for students.

Encourage your child to walk or bike to and from campus instead of driving or taking the bus.