Send Your College Student Off Prepared for a Healthy Year!
Across the country, thousands of college students are preparing to head off to college campuses. If your child is getting ready to head back to the dorm soon, planning now can help them cope in the event they get sick while at school.
Make that doctor’s appointment
Outbreaks on campus cause tremendous disruption, both for the students and the college.1 Vaccinations are vital to help ensure your teenager stays healthy and safe while away from home. Talk to the doctor to make sure your college-bound child is up to date on their immunizations and ask what additional vaccinations s/he recommends. Recommended vaccines could include:
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis
- Hepatitis A and B
Pack a well-stocked wellness kit
Just because you can’t be there, doesn’t mean you can’t still take care of them! Fill a large, covered clear plastic bin with essentials, including:
- Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
- Non-stick gauze
- Adhesive tape
- Antibiotic ointment
- Ace bandage
- Instant ice pack
- Heating pad
- Acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen
- An anti-diarrheal (e.g., Imodium, Pepto-Bismol)
- Antihistamine (e.g., Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec)
- Cough drops
- Hand sanitizer
- Disinfectant wipes or spray
- A basic first aid book2
Other items you might want to consider include:
- Emergency contraception (Plan B)
While you are stocking up for them, grab a few supplies for yourself–there is nothing worse than having to run to the pharmacy when you’re sick!
Create an emergency card
Be sure they have easy access to the information they will need should an illness or injury require a trip to the clinic or emergency room. They should keep a copy of their insurance card in their wallet or purse but also consider creating small cards that include emergency information. Print one for them to carry with them and another to be taped inside the cover of their dorm wellness kit. This card should include:
- Insurance information
- Contact information for their personal physician
- The campus health center’s phone number and/or the location and contact information for nearby walk-in clinics
- Emergency contact information
- Medical conditions
- Blood type2
Talk to them (and take your own advice!)
The flu affects 1 to 2 out of 10 Americans each year—some seriously.4 With so many people living in close quarters, give your college student a few tips on how to avoid getting sick when cold and flu season hits.
- Get vaccinated for the seasonal flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older.4
- Whenever possible, stay away from people who are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneezing or coughing, and then throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
- Wash hands regularly with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. You can also use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Using a household disinfectant, regularly wipe down surfaces you touch often – doorknobs, counters, telephones, and remotes, for example.
- If you get sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever or signs of fever end.5
We’re here to help
If you need advice on how to help your college student stay healthy while away from home or about what remedies to keep on hand, your Health Mart pharmacist is always happy to help!
Health Mart. Caring for you and about you.
Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.
- ACHA Guidelines Immunization Recommendations for College Students. Available at: https://www.acha.org/documents/resources/guidelines/Immunization_Recommendations.pdf Accessed 07-20-18
- FamilyDoctor.org: Preventing the flu. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/preventing-the-flu/ Accessed 7-3-18.
- The Most Complete First Aid Kit for College Students, Ever! Available at: https://grownandflown.com/first-aid-kit-college-students/ Accessed 07-20-18.
- CDC: Preparing for the Flu. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/faithbased/pdf/H1N1_FBO_toolkit.pdf Accessed 7-3-18.
- St. Louis Children’s Hospital: Preparing for Flu Season. Available at: http://www.stlouischildrens.org/articles/wellness/preparing-flu-season Accessed 7-3-18.
Posted on Wed, August 1, 2018
by Health Mart