Moving to a college campus is an exciting and new stage of life for many students. However, it also exposes these young adults to a whole new level of self-care and independence. Some will even have to seek out medical attention themselves in case of illness or injury. Many new college students will have never had to be on their own this way before and though most colleges require incoming students to undergo a physical or some other medical evaluation, it probably won’t cover everything. Here are six health checks to look at before moving to college to help students enter college on a healthy note.
Is the student on medication and is it working for them? Talk to your student about their medications to see if they understand what it does (or is supposed to be doing) for them, and how to order more if they need more. This gives them the space to communicate if they are on the right track, or if they should be pursuing different medication. This goes for eye prescriptions as well. Get an appointment with a places like All About Eyes and make sure their glasses are up to date and that they know how to get new contacts each month or so.
Mental Health Check
While a physical is great to check a student’s body for health, we rarely check on their state of mental health. Mental health problems and trouble adjusting are one of the most common causes of college students dropping out and not continuing their education. These should be regular throughout their first few semesters.
Reproductive Health Check
Some students may become sexually active as young as high school, and it is important for incoming students to have knowledge of their reproductive system and how healthy it is currently. It is also immensely important students understand where they can get advice and tools to practice safe sex when going to college, since many students engage in some sexually risky behaviors at this time in their life.
Is your student up to date on all of their immunization records? What about things like a tetanus shot? You never know when a student may accidentally step on something or scrape themselves somewhere that could compromise their health. Make sure they have all current immunizations and know if they have any upcoming ones.
Some allergies present themselves in the body from birth and others may develop later in life. It is important for college students to understand and know what they are allergic to so they may avoid those things while away from home. If a student has an allergy to food, make sure they know how to avoid and treat a reaction should one occur.
Physicals are recommended and mandatory for incoming students at most colleges. Make sure you schedule an appointment with your doctor when you know they’ll be leaving.
Going to college is an exciting time! Just make sure your student is prepared and ready to go with all their health checks.