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News: Tampa Bay Area Pediatricians Urge Parents to Act Now for Back-to-School Readiness | CitizenWire

Dr. Salvador A. Bou-Gauthier MD engages with a patient during a consultation

TAMPA, Fla. /CitizenWire/ -- Doctor Bou Pediatrics Inc today urged parents to immediately schedule school health examinations for their children as the August 12 school start date approaches in Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Manatee counties. The pediatric practice warns that students may be barred from attending school if required health forms and vaccinations are not completed on time, as mandated by Florida law to protect public health.

The Florida Department of Health requires all students entering Florida schools for the first time to present a school entry health exam completed within the last year. This requirement applies to children in prekindergarten through 12th grade.

Sal H. Bou, chief operating officer of Dr. Bou Pediatrics, emphasizes the necessity of strategic scheduling: "Despite October traditionally being our busiest month due to flu season, the August rush requires special planning to ensure we have the capacity to meet everyone's needs. This is why we particularly urge families to book their appointments early, ensuring all necessary health requirements are met before the school year commences."

According to reports from WUSF and KFF Health News, nearly 600,000 children in Florida have lost Medicaid coverage in the past year due to policy changes. This loss of coverage may create additional challenges for families trying to schedule required school physicals and vaccinations, further increasing the risk of delayed school entry if not addressed promptly.

Key age groups often requiring updated vaccinations or school forms include children ages 4-5 entering VPK or Kindergarten, ages 11-12 entering middle school, and ages 15-16 in high school. Parents should consult the Florida Department of Health's website for detailed immunization schedules by age. Parents should consult the Florida Department of Health's website for detailed immunization schedules by age.

To ensure your child is ready for the upcoming school year and can start on time, take these steps immediately: Schedule your child's school physical examination. Check with your pediatrician about required vaccinations for your child's age group. If you've recently lost Medicaid coverage, inquire about self-pay options to cover necessary school physicals and vaccinations. Obtain and complete necessary school health forms in advance of your appointment.

For more information about school entry health requirements, visit the Florida Department of Health's website or contact your local pediatrician.

Learn more about Dr. Bou Pediatrics at: https://www.drbou.com/

Learn More: https://www.drbou.com/

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