Are you sending a student off to college this fall? While preparing for college, it is important that students and parents plan for good health. Illness can derail a student’s academic progress, and make for a tough time away from home.
According to Dr. Ann Hays of the University of Kentucky University Health Service, the first step to ensuring a healthy semester “is to make sure students are up to date on vaccinations before enrollment. They should also take a copy of their vaccination records with them, along with a document listing their home doctor’s contact information and any medical conditions or allergies.
“Know the services available at your college, along with the facility’s location and contact information, ideally prior to enrollment,” Hays says. “Every year, some students become ill soon after arriving on campus, and if they are already familiar with how to seek healthcare on campus, it will be easier for them to obtain the treatment they need. Also check on insurance coverage while away from home.”
Finally, parents should encourage their college students to eat balanced meals, get regular exercise, and get eight hours of sleep each night. By working toward good health, while also preparing for unexpected illness or injury, students and families can breathe easy knowing they have done everything possible to ensure a healthy semester.
Dr. Ann Hays recommends students be prepared to handle routine health problems and minor injuries by packing a basic first-aid kit. Here are some recommended items to include:
•Adhesive bandages, in various sizes
•Antiseptic liquid or spray
•Disinfecting household wipes
•Hydrocortisone (anti-itch) cream
•Pain reliever/fever reducer, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen
•Sports drinks, bottled water, soup mix (to prevent dehydration)