Going off to college? Follow these tips.

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Going off to college? Follow these tips.

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As many families celebrate high school graduations this weekend. College is just around the corner. UnityPoint Clinic – Pediatrics provider Seth Webb offers the following recommendations for health and safety as students head off to college. 

Schedule your annual wellness visit prior to going to college. UnityPoint Clinic – Pediatrics | Westdale offers walk in visits and same day appointments. You don’t even have to be a UnityPoint Clinic patient. Call (319) 396-0129 today to schedule. 

During this visit individuals expect the following:

a. Health history review
b. Ensure vaccines and medications are current
c. Discuss the meningitis vaccine, which is recommended for all college students, especially those living in dorms. The MenB vaccine Bexero is a two dose series that can be completed in as little as one month. This is a separate vaccine than Menveo and makes up about 1/3 of all meningitis cases Meningitis is quite rare but, if contacted, can be life threatening.

Stay healthy and safe at college by following these tips:

Stress and anxiety can be a major concern for incoming college students. Getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night and 30-60 minutes of physical activity is recommended to keep the body and brain healthy.

1. Eat a well-balanced diet and follow a meal plan.  

2. Safe sex practices, the most common age for STIs is between 15-25.  Be safe, wear protection, use contraceptives, etc.  

3. Have Tylenol/motrin on hand for headaches and minor injuries

4. Wear shoes even to the shower, this can prevent getting illness from communal bathrooms

5. Never take drinks (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) from someone you do not know and especially if you did not see it poured
a. Keep track of drinks
b. Limit drinks if alcoholic
c. Do not drink to excess, this can become a very big safety issue
d. Travel in groups especially at night
e. Familiarize yourself with campus security, student health, and local hospital locations

All students should check with local university/college to see what immunizations or records they need to have to attend. 

Register for UnityPoint Clinic Virtual Care to connect with a provider in middle of the night, on a holiday or in the middle of a packed school week, Virtual Care is available when you need it. Virtual Care providers can diagnose, recommend treatment and prescribe medication. You do not have to be a current patient of UnityPoint Clinic to take advantage of this service but if you need a doctor please call (319) 558-4858.