As the end of the school year approaches and our thoughts turn to graduation, here are a few suggestions for parents and graduating seniors.
All seniors will be receiving a packet from the Guidance Department at graduation practice. This packet contains many important papers, and especially important is your student's immunization record. These are your student's immunizations as we have them at the CLHS clinic. Please remember that these records reflect only what has been passed from every school that your child attended or updates that you have given to us. There may have been shots or immunizations that were not required by the state at a given time but should still be reflected on their record.
Keep these records in a safe place forever. They may be needed in future years for applications to jobs or schools. Moving away and having a lot of time passing since graduation may make it difficult or impossible to retrieve these records from your high school or doctor's office (doctors retire or close their practices which may cause your records to disappear altogether). Most colleges and universities require these records before starting school in the fall and it is a good idea to send a copy with your student for their own permanent file.
Speaking of permanent files, now is the time for all those graduating to gather some information and begin their own if they have not already. Yes, we are talking about keeping records that you may need in the years to come — passports and birth certificates, baptismal certificate, your immunization records, social security card, high school transcript, important phone numbers, family history, medical history and names of medications, a photo of yourself — all in one place that you can grab and go in case of an emergency. Start now by getting a folder and labeling it IMPORTANT. Remember to add other important papers as the years go by such as marriage certificates, copies of diplomas received, and anything else that you want to keep in a safe place.
For college-bound students, this is a good time to get a physical exam and any immunizations you may need for next year. Check with your health-care provider. Beat the summer back-to-school rush and take care of this now.
A little effort now will make things so much easier, especially if you find 12 years from now that you need that immunization record for an application that you never dreamed you would be making when you graduated from high school a long time ago!
Enjoy finishing the school year and all the fun activities that entails and a beautiful Spring walk with your teenager.
Jayne Dwyer-Reff, RN