For many new college, living at school is the time when they first become responsible for their wellness. Preparing for this transition is best shared between parents and student.
VACCINATIONS FOR NEW STUDENTS:
Seasonal influenza vaccine (Annually)
Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine
- Many colleges require this for incoming college students.
- If your child received the vaccination before age 16, a booster should be given for maximum protection.
Tdap Vaccine (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis)
- A single dose of Tdap is usually given to preteens/ teens. If your child is 19 or older and did not receive Tdap earlier, a single dose of Tdap is recommended.
- Tdap can be given regardless of when your child received his/her last Td booster.
Human Papillomavirus Vaccine (HPV) (Series Of 3 Shots, typically given at age 11 or 12)
- Recommended for teens and young adults (women under 27 and men under 22) who did not receive or finish the HPV vaccine series
- Young adults should complete the series if they only received one or two doses, even if time has elapsed. The HPV series does not need to be restarted, but outstanding doses should be given.
PREPARING FOR LIVING AWAY
Consider making a first-aid kit:
- OTC pain telievers
- OTC gastrointestinal distress relievers
- Band-aids, gauze
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Bacitracin cream or Neosporin
- Cortisone cream
- Benadryl 25 mg tablets – 1-2 tablets for an acute allergic reaction
If your child takes prescription medications:
- Prescriptions should be kept in original containers
- If your child is on medication for ADHD, ensure the medication is kept in a secure place. Unfortunately, abuse of ADHD medications is common on college campuses.
Remind your child that when he has a persistent fever, severe pain or other unusual symptoms, he/she should not self-medicate, but seek treatment at student health facilities.
AND THEY DON’T ALWAYS TELL YOU…
For children with ongoing health issues
- Explain the importance of ensuring his primary physician knows what the campus doctor is doing – which minimizes the chance of prescription conflict, or of important medical trends being overlooked in the crossover.
- Have a game plan for prescription fulfillment.
Discussions Before College
- Danger of combining medications with alcohol.
- OTC medications are not risk-free; must follow dosage instructions and contra-indications.
- Excessive caffeine (over 100 mg per day for adolescents; over 400mg for adults) can have serious consequences.
- When-to-see-the-doctor basics (such as a “cold” that lasts a certain number of days without symptoms-relief), and knowing differences between viral and bacterial infections (how fever is often indicative of the latter).
Summer To-Do List
Since your kid’s phone is often his “wallet,” take screenshots of these and send them to him
- Insurance card
- List of current medication names and dosages
- List of known medical or other allergies
International study is an exciting experience, so protect your child’s health options with these tools:
- Pre-travel vaccinations/health-risk reviews based on destination.
- Research and enroll him in an air medical transport insurance membership. Domestic air-ambulance medical evacuations typically exceed $10,000, while international air ambulance medical evacuations can exceed $100,000. Peace of mind in having a paid membership prior to travel for emergencies is priceless.
SUSAN LOCKE is Healthnetwork Foundation’s medical director.
HEALTHNETWORK is a Legatus membership benefit, a healthcare “concierge service” that provides members and their families access to some of the most respected hospitals in the world. One Call Starts It All: (866) 968-2467 or (440) 893-0830. Email: email@example.com
HEALTHNETWORK FOUNDATION is a non-profit whose mission is to improve medicine for all by connecting CEOs with leading hospitals and their doctors to provide the best access to world-class care and increase philanthropic funding for medical research.