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Healthy habits for freshmen heading off to college

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RICHMOND, Va -- Sending children off to college can be a very emotional experience for a parent. If the child is used to having their parent take care of everything health-related -- like setting up doctor appointments -- worry can be one of those emotions.

Before packing them up, doctors have several suggestions for parents. First, they suggest encouraging them to continue getting their annual check-ups once they're away. Many freshmen will skip or forget about them altogether.

Freshmen should also have important medical information physically written down.

"Any history, medicines, anything like that that might be important for any medical provider away from home," said Dr. Tracey Deal, a pediatrician with Pediatric Associates.

"You want to make sure they have their insurance card with them, want to make sure they know where to get medical care if they need it, and write down any pertinent information that might be necessary," Dr. Deal said.

Freshmen who have to take medicine at school, like an inhaler, will also need to have paperwork filed with the school. Those documents sometimes have to be signed by a parent and their doctor.