COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

As of May 12, 2021, everyone in Washington state age 12 and over is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Please visit our vaccine page for information on how to schedule an appointment.


Back to School Guide

Tips to Having a Great School Year

Back to School

To help parents and students stay happy and healthy this school year, we reached out to the experts at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Center. In the stories below, you’ll find some of their tips and advice, as well as their answers to common questions.

Don’t worry, there won’t be a test.

Our Back-to-school Checklist:


Make sure your child has had the immunizations they need to start school. Take your child’s records to MultiCare Mobile Health, the Mary Bridge Mobile Immunization Clinic or any MultiCare clinic to ensure they’re up-to-date. Click here for answers to seven commonly asked questions about immunizations.

Keep in mind teenagers entering 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade in fall 2016 are now required to have two doses of the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine.


If your preteen is heading toward puberty, it may be time for The Talk. No, not that one. Click here to read what Mary Bridge Pediatrician Joey Garcia recommends to keep your preteen smelling fresh as a daisy.

Mental health

Heading back to school is an exciting time for children and families, but changes in schools, teachers, friends and routines can also make it a stressful one. Click here to read what Bob Beilke, Ph.D., a pediatric and clinical child psychologist, has to say about starting the school year off on the right foot.

Healthy lunches

Coming up with fresh, new ideas for healthy school lunches can get tiring. Why not let MultiCare Dietitian Chelsey Lindahl shoulder some of the burden? Click here for some new dietitian-approved school lunch tips.

Click to download this printable school lunch-builder and keep it on your fridge all year long to help make healthy choices!

Heavy backpacks

Binders, books, and laptops are heavy, and choosing the wrong style of backpack could increase the chance of your child’s book-bag causing them unnecessary back problems. It is important to wear and choose backpacks correctly so that your child does not develop easily avoided lower back problems down the road.

Sports physicals

Children who want to participate in sports need to pass a sports physical before sports practices begin. 

MultiCare locations offering sports physicals include:

Make sure you have all the necessary forms from the school or coach before you go.

Nutrition for student athletes

Making sure your kids eat right is important — especially when they participate in sports. Here is our guide to fueling up, keeping hydrating and playing strong.


It’s important to recognize when a concussion occurs so that a child can be removed from play and avoid potentially more serious consequences. When we’re talking about kids, it’s not worth taking the risk of putting them in harm’s way. Learn more here.

How can you tell when a shoe fits your child’s foot perfectly, giving the right amount of support with plenty of room for growth? Read this advice from sports medicine specialist and pediatrician, Joshua Purses, DO.


Lunch Planner BannerDownload this printable school lunch-builder and keep it on your fridge all year long to help make healthy choices!