UofL offering free dental screenings for back to school - WDRB 41 Louisville News

UofL offering free dental screenings for back to school

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – JCPS students head back-to-school August 15, and families are focusing more intently on back-to-school issues, many related to their children's health and well-being.

For example, Kentucky law requires proof of a dental screening no later than January of the first year a child is enrolled in public school. The UofL School of Dentistry is helping families meet this requirement by offering free comprehensive dental screenings. Call the pediatric dental clinic at 502-852-5642 to schedule an appointment.

"Cavities in baby teeth hurt just as badly as cavities in permanent teeth, and are a major reason children miss school," said Ann Greenwell, DMD, MSD, director, Pediatric Dental Residency Program. "Children don't always have the vocabulary to explain what they are feeling."

Immunization requirements for Kentucky students have been amended, adding or altering the types of some vaccines required for school and changing the vaccination schedule for others. Students may need to get a physical exam before school starts, depending on their age and extracurricular activities. And, while public schools don't require eye exams after kindergarten, a back-to-school eye exam can identify vision problems that could keep a child from doing well in the classroom.

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University of Louisville pediatric specialists are available to comment on all of these topics as well as the following back-to-school subjects:

  • More than 79 million students in the United States carry school backpacks and in one study, 64 percent of students reported back pain related to heavy backpacks. There are precautions students can take to avoid pain and injury.
  • Students need to feed their brains as well as their bodies. Experts say that eating breakfast improves cognitive function related to memory and test grades and even has an effect on school attendance. Numerous studies indicate that a balanced diet is crucial in maintaining physical health and promoting emotional well-being.

    Parents sometimes underestimate the amount of sleep their children need. Preschoolers, 3-5 years old, require 11-13 hours of sleep. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 need 10-11 hours. Middle and high school aged students need about 9 hours of sleep. Families should make sleep a priority if children are going to succeed academically and stay out of trouble in school.
  • Back to school phobias are fairly common and can occur at various times during a child's school career. Fear of returning to school can be caused by difficulty separating from parents (especially if the child is just starting school), concerns about academic and social performance, or previous experiences of being bullied.

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