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Your back-to-school prep list, including health care recommendations

August 15, 2023 

Eau Claire, Wis. – Students and parents will spend part of the month preparing for back-to-school routines and schedules. HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals and Prevea Health recommend part of that prep include health-related tasks. 

Update vaccinations: The best way to help your child stay healthy is to follow the recommended vaccine schedule from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It lists immunizations children of various ages need, including: 
  • Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR)
  • Chickenpox (varicella) 
  • Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap)
  • Polio 
  • Meningitis
  • Pneumococcal (pneumonia)
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Rotavirus

Prevea Pediatrician, Dr. Naghma Husain, says immunizations provide crucial protection to children from serious childhood diseases by boosting a child’s natural immunity. Also, check with your child’s school to learn what vaccinations are required as each school district may vary. 

Schedule a sports physical exam: If your student plays sports, a physical is required by the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association. During a physical, your doctor will take your child’s complete health history, perform an orthopedic screening, examine the heart and lungs, and make sure your student is at his or her best to participate and compete. The form your child and provider will need to complete and turn into the school, can be found at:

Adjust sleep schedules: To make the transition from summer to school bedtime and waking time, gradually push bedtime earlier by 15 minutes per night until you reach the desired bedtime; do the same for wake time. Begin this process about two weeks prior to the first day of school. 

Limit electronics: Screens stimulate the brain and are not conducive to good sleep. Put down the phone, tablet and laptop and turn off the TV and gaming system at least one hour before bedtime. 

Create a study area: Prepare a well-lit place where your child can do homework. Make sure it's a quiet space without electronic distractions. 

Choose a suitable backpack: A full backpack should weigh no more than ten to twenty percent of your child's body weight. Adjust the backpack so the bottom meets your child's waist. 

Manage anxiety: Talk with kids during the last few weeks of summer break about their feelings. Be positive about the return to school and provide encouragement.

“The transition from summer break to the school year can be a source of anxiety for children and families because change can be hard,” says Dr. Husain. “I often encourage families to start their school routines at least a week prior to the first day to ease anxiety and stress.”

Prevea pediatrics provides comprehensive and routine medical care for children and teenagers; preventative medicine, including immunizations and screenings; newborn care; well-child exams and behavioral care options. To schedule a pediatric appointment in Altoona, Menomonie or Rice Lake, please call 715-717-6850

For more back-to-school tips, visit:

About HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1885, it has served the people of the Chippewa Falls area with health care that is high tech and high touch. Known locally for the quality of the care it provides patients, the hospital has been recognized nationally for its outstanding patient satisfaction levels.

About HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1889, it has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin with the latest medical innovations and technology, together with a Franciscan whole-person healing tradition.

About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 Local Systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit

About Prevea Health
Founded in Green Bay, Wis. in 1996, Prevea Health is a health care organization that provides high-quality, primary and specialty health care in 80+ locations across northern, eastern and western Wisconsin in clinic and hospital settings. It is partnered with six Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) hospitals across Wisconsin to provide patients a system of highly-coordinated care, close to home: HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay; HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan; HSHS St. Clare Memorial Hospital in Oconto Falls; HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire; and HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls. For more information, visit
Your back-to-school prep list, including health care recommendations
Media Contact

Karen Kraus

Communications Department HSHS Wisconsin