Back to School Planning: Vaccines & Physicals
In this post:
I know, no one wants to talk about the upcoming school season as early as July—but with enrollment right around the corner and sports seasons starting before the school year, we figure now might be a good time to talk about some of things your child might need to do before the first day of school.
Other than shopping, of course. We’ll leave that to the experts—though, if you do need help with school supply shopping, you can reach out to Bright Futures Fairbanks to get connected with resources.
If you’re enrolling a child in an Alaskan school district, you should know that the State of Alaska requires all children attending public or private schools, certified preschools, and licensed child care facilities be immunized. This is to help protect your children and their peers from the spread of infectious disease. You can see the details of immunization requirements at the school district website.
Here’s a short list of the vaccines your child is required to receive:
- Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTaP/DT/Td/Tdap)
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Chickenpox (Varicella)
- Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b)
For a complete list of the school-required vaccines by age, click here: https://health.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/iz/Documents/factsheet/IZReqFactSheet.pdf
How am I supposed to afford all these vaccines?
Thankfully, the State of Alaska also has a number of vaccine resources to help cover the costs of vaccines. The short explanation is that if cost is a concern and you want to avoid paying for vaccines or paying for vaccine administration fees, you should schedule an appointment to come see your local Federally Qualified Health Center (that’s us at ICHC!) to see if your child is eligible for the Vaccines for Children program, and ensure that your child receives vaccines supplied by the state. Plus, we have a sliding fee discount program that lets you and your child receive affordable health care based on your household size and income, so your child’s Well Child Check-up is at a reasonable cost, too.
If your child plans to participate in any sports activities in the upcoming school year, don’t forget that they must have a Sports Physical completed before they can participate. Sports Physicals are usually completed by your child’s primary care provider. You need to bring your child and the appropriate sports physical form, which you can usually find online at the school district’s website. For Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, that’s here:
Sports physicals are usually quick, straightforward visits. You tell your provider about any known risk factors your child has for sports injury (see the form for what items the FNSBSD might consider), and then the provider conducts a brief physical exam to identify any further risk factors. Then, if appropriate, they sign the form indicating that your child is cleared for sports, with any restrictions listed based on the history and findings. You turn that form in to the school, and your child is all set. It’s important to be honest and transparent with your provider for your child’s safety. No matter how badly they might want to participate in a sport, their safety comes first!
If you’re worried about cost, at ICHC, we charge a flat fee of $75 for sports physicals. And again, we also offer a sliding fee discount schedule which can reduce that cost even further if you qualify based on your household size and income. Call us today at 907-455-4567, option 1, to schedule a visit!
Good luck to all our students and athletes!