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Schedule health care appointments before starting college


Thursday, August 02, 2012
Students preparing to attend college tend to focus most of their attention on planning their dorm room or putting together a class schedule. While those activities are the more fun aspects of college preparation, students should also focus on something that is essential to their college success - their health.

All new students are required to complete a physical examination before starting college. However, it is also a good idea to visit other health care providers, like a dentist and an optometrist. The days leading up to college will be hectic, so try to schedule your visits way in advance of your first day on campus.

See a doctor

Whether you commute to college or live on campus, it is likely that you will be taking classes alongside students from other cities or states. You may even find a number of international students at your school. The geographic diversity of the student body, coupled with the fact that many students will be sharing close quarters in dormitories, increases your chances of getting sick. Therefore, it is extremely important to get the proper vaccinations before beginning the semester.

Colleges will require incoming students to get specific vaccinations depending on their medical history, type of activities they will take part in, and the state in which the school is located. According to the CNN blog The Chart, most colleges require students to get vaccinated for measles, mumps and rubella varicella, hepatitis B, and tetanus (if they have not been vaccinated within the past 10 years).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommends that individuals between the ages of 19 and 24 receive the meningococcal conjugate, HPV, Tdap and seasonal flu vaccines.

Have your teeth cleaned

Once in college you will find that your schedule fills up very quickly, making time for routine appointments, like going to the dentist, difficult especially if you attend school out of state. It is recommended that you take care of cleanings, cavities or other dental problems before leaving for school in order to prevent any problems from getting worse while you are away from home.

Get your eyes checked

Many college courses will require you to do large amounts of reading for homework or to copy notes off a board during a lecture. If you have poor vision these tasks can be difficult. That is why it is important for students to visit an optometrist before starting college. This is especially true for those students who already wear glasses or contact lenses, because they may require a new prescription. Students who wear corrective lenses should also get a copy of their prescription in the event that glasses get lost or broken.ADNFCR-16000756-ID-800833458-ADNFCR

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