Back-to-school health and wellness: Top trends - Ep. 51

September 19, 2022
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Childhood vaccines, school learning struggles and mental health: These topics have been top of mind for parents since early 2020.

Now that the third pandemic school year has begun, parents are still working to ensure their kids are healthy and thriving despite the public health challenges.

Vaccines have always been important for kids, and now physicians include the COVID-19 vaccine with necessary childhood vaccinations.

The lockdowns of 2020 contributed to anxiety and potential learning loss. As society continues its slow walk toward normalcy, what can parents do to help their kids make up for lost time or ease their anxiety?

In Episode 51, Dr. G and his guest Annie Ryan, MSN, CPNP, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, have a can’t-miss conversation about child vaccinations, learning loss and mental health.


Myths vs. Facts

“If your child missed any recommended vaccinations during the pandemic, catching up with immunizations may feel overwhelming.” – Fact
It is OK to feel overwhelmed by the number of immunizations kids need. There are a lot of vaccinations, but they’re all important.

“It is not necessary to vaccinate so early in life.” – Myth
The most vulnerable populations are newborn and infant stage as well as immunocompromised. It’s important to start vaccinations early.

“Learning gaps were most pronounced in states with higher rates of remote instruction overall.” – Fact
And pandemic lockdowns hit high-poverty schools harder. In the quarter of states where students spent the most time learning remotely, high-poverty schools spent an additional nine weeks in remote instructions, more than two months than low-poverty schools.

“Children do not experience mental health disorders.” – Myth
Children can experience mental health illnesses and crises just like adults.

“Mental health and mental illness are commonly mistaken for the same thing.” – Fact
But both should be tended to equally. Mental health refers to emotional and psychological well-being, while mental illness is a specific mental health condition that is diagnosable. 

Listener healthy OH-YEAH!

“Being certified as a mental health first aider is meaningful and being prepared to effectively reach out to someone in a mental health crisis was a humbling experience.” – J.G.

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