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3 Back-to-School Tips

Can you believe school is already back in session? These tips can help your family start the year off right.

1. Make sure that your child has had their annual well visit with their doctor.
Over the last year and a half, many of us postponed care that wasn’t urgent because of the pandemic. But doctors’ offices have a lot of precautions in place to keep your family safe, and these well visits (sometimes called a physical or checkup) are important for protecting your child’s health.

During the well visit, the doctor will track your child’s growth and developmental milestones, discuss any concerns about your child’s health, and vaccinate them against serious diseases such as measles and whooping cough. 

With your BCBSRI health plan, these well visits are offered at no cost when your child sees a provider in our network. That’s true for adults as well, and many of us also have well visits to catch up on. So now is a good time to schedule those visits for your whole family.

2. Help your kids—really, your whole family—get enough sleep. 
That’s something that’s a challenge for many of us. Many kids are not getting enough sleep, and that can put them at higher risk for health problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, poor mental health, and injuries. They’re also more likely to have attention and behavior problems, which can impact their performance in school.

Setting a regular bedtime and wake-up time, including on weekends, is recommended for everyone—children, adolescents, and adults. And since using technology can contribute to late bedtimes, you may also want to consider banning phones, video games, and television after a certain time of night or removing them from the bedroom. 

3. Know your options for getting healthcare whenever and wherever your family needs it.
Your first choice should always be your primary care provider, but if they aren’t available, it’s important to know your other options for common, non-emergency health issues.

Many BCBSRI plans offer the Doctors Online app, where you can video chat 24/7 with a doctor about health issues such as cold and flu symptoms, allergies, and migraines. This can be especially important for college students who will be away from home, when you’re traveling, or if your child is sick in the middle of the night.

Doctors Online can also be used for scheduled therapy sessions and psychiatry visits. After the last year and a half, mental health is a focus for many families, and you can find help for you and your kids for depression, anxiety, ADHD, and stress. You can download the BCBSRI Drs. Online1 app on the App Store or Google Play2 or visit

1In the case of an emergency, you should always call 911. Doctors Online is not intended to replace these services and should not be used in those circumstances. Doctors Online is a telemedicine service provided by American Well®, an independent company that administers Doctors Online on behalf of BCBSRI.

2Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play is a trademark of Google Inc. Virgin Pulse is an independent wellness company, contracted by BCBSRI to provide wellness services.