Back to School – What You Need to Know as the Kids Head Back to Class

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Provided by Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center

Students around the region are heading back to school! We talk with Nurse Practitioner Stephanie Schutter, RN, MSN, CFNP of Sentara Family & Internal Medicine Physicians about some tips you and your family might want to consider for the new year.

Schutter has been with Sentara for 11 years and has repeatedly been recognized as a top medical provider in Northern Virginia, “This is my true love, family practice. Knowing whole families from the infants to teens, to parents and grandparents. There is nothing more rewarding than watching my kids grow and my adults move through different phases of their lives. I get to be there going through it with them, they are all like family to me!”

In the wake of the pandemic, she has seen some of her patients struggle, “The past 3 years have been hard on our kids — from our youngest children with some speech and socialization delays to our adolescents and teens with more anxiety and depression. We are here to help and facilitate any referrals, if needed, or be there for you and your children during this time. Our parents have been more stressed with all the changes, both mentally and financially. Social situations are difficult for many during this time, kids sense those things. They will need our support as we all navigate this ever-changing landscape. Remember parents, take care of yourselves, too, as your children will be better because of it. Together as a community, we must help each other during this difficult time.”

Schutter reminds parents to check with their schools for requirements prior to the first day, “Make sure immunizations are up to date, make sure if your child plays sports they have an up-to-date sports physical and concussion training as the schools now require this prior to tryouts.”

Recently, the CDC approved the COVID-19 vaccination for children 6 months and older, “We are in agreement with the American Academy of Pediatrics all infants, children and adolescents 6 months of age and older, who do not have contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, should be vaccinated. We want to ensure this as we do with all vaccination. Our new normal may look different, but our kids deserve the assistance in getting them back to it as quickly as we can while keeping them safe.”

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