If your daughter or son has reached the age of 18, their medical information is confidential. Breaking this confidentiality and releasing information to parents without permission is against the law. Confidentiality is an important first step for young adults to begin taking responsibility for their own health care.
An Authorization to Release Medical Records form must be signed by the student in order for the Student Health Center to share medical information.
Care For Minors
If your son or daughter is a minor, we will mail you a Consent For Medical Treatment form for you to complete and return. Note that by law, contraceptive care and treatment of sexually transmitted infections do not require parental consent.
Effective communication is key:
- Take time to talk to your child about their personal challenges, fears and expectations.
- Model communication skills that you want your child to learn. Give your child permission to discuss emotional subjects and to disagree.
- Discuss any family history of medical or mental health problems. Become an active listener, be patient and avoid interrupting them. Allow your child to make their point.
- Avoid lecturing and criticizing. Share your knowledge and information in a non-judgmental way.
- Encourage your child to solve their own problems.
- Recognize warning signs of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and substance abuse.
- If your child calls in crisis:
Drugs and Alcohol
- Discuss the use of alcohol and drugs openly with your child.
- Emphasize the need to make conscious behavior choices.
- Talk about ways that your child can handle drinking environments at parties.
- Discover a comfortable way to say “no”.
- Drink non-alcoholic beverages.
- Don’t participate in drinking games.
- Be the “designated driver”.
- Discuss the implications of legal charges and career ramifications of underage drinking or drunk driving. Drug and alcohol charges can seriously hurt your child’s chances of finding a professional job.
- Drinking and drug use are generally involved in incidents of sexual assault or making unhealthy choices about sexual activity.
- Emphasize healthy social choices such as campus clubs, going to movies, joining intramurals, etc.
- If your child makes poor choices, encourage them to come to you to discuss options.
- The Counseling Center can be an excellent resource.
Every student should have some basic medical supplies while at school including:
- Antibiotic ointment
- Cold medicines
- Cold pack
We recommend several immunizations before arriving on campus, including:
- HPV vaccine (for both men and women)
- Meningitis vaccine
- TDaP (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis)
- Influenza vaccine*
*Most clinics do not stock the new annual influenza vaccine until October. The Student Health Center will have influenza vaccinations available to students beginning in October each year until supplies last. Many local pharmacies and clinics also provide the influenza vaccine.
If your student is from Wisconsin, you can check the Wisconsin Immunization Registry for a record of their immunizations.
In preparation for your child taking control of their own health care, discuss the following:
- When it is appropriate to seek health care.
- Health insurance coverage and the importance of carrying a health insurance card.
- How to care for cold, flu and allergy symptoms, stressing that antibiotics are not always necessary.
- How to eat healthy.
- The importance of seven to eight hours of good sleep.
- Young men need to know how and when to perform testicular exams.
- Young women need to know how and when to perform breast self-exams.
- All sexually active young adults should have routine STD testing.
- All young adults should have their cholesterol/lipids checked by the age of 20.
- All young adults should have their blood pressure checked annually.
- Young adults should be aware of the signs and symptoms of mental health problems.
Parent Health 101
As a service to our families here at UW-Oshkosh, we provide an online subscription to Student Health 101 for both your student and yourself. Student Health 101 is a monthly health and wellness publication just for UW Oshkosh students and their families. Each issue contains valuable information that will help your student make better decisions and can help you gain a better understanding of the health and wellness challenges that face today’s students.
Each month, you can access the latest issue of the family-only Student Advocate, along with the Student Health 101 issue that your student will receive. Please take a few minutes to read the issues each month, as we believe that they can be a valuable resource for you and your family.
Letting go is an important task for parents since college life is another step toward independent living for your child. Keep the following in mind as you help your child transition into college life:
- College requires more self-discipline. There is less time spent in classrooms and more time spent studying outside of class. Helping your child develop time management skills is very important.
- Encourage independent decision-making about choice of major, course work, friendships and interests. Young adults need to make their own choices and learn from them.
- Expect identity exploration as young adults are exposed to varied life styles.
- Expect an adjustment to shared living. One of the tasks learned is how to get along with others, problem solve differences and learn to compromise.
- Students who feel pressure to get straight A’s are more stressed and don’t enjoy the learning process.
- Help your child set realistic expectations about participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs, drama productions or student government.
- Discuss financial arrangements for college in advance. Review financial aid and student loan options. Discuss whether getting a job is expected and how many hours are realistic.