Information for parents
As a parent of a college student you play a key role in your student’s health and wellness. Even though your child may be miles away from home, you will still be a primary source of health information for them. We hope the following information will assist you in helping your student make a healthy transition to college life.
1. Immunizations, health history and physical examinations
- Flu season is here! Encourage your student to get vaccinated. Check out the UI flu page for more information.
- Make sure your student has updated immunizations and that they are documented on an official immunization form signed by a health provider: Immunization Verification (required)
- While a routine physical exam is not required by the University of Iowa, many parents choose to have this done before their student leaves for college. Athletics and health science colleges have their own requirements for physical exams and/or health statements.
- Make sure your student knows his or her health history: Medical history form If your student has a chronic or recurrent health problem, send a summary letter from your local physician with your student. Ask your student to schedule a get-acquainted visit with a Student Health Service provider at which time, that summary letter can be turned in and discussed.
- Give your student a list of his/her current medications and allergies.
2. Health insurance
- All incoming students at The University of Iowa are required to have health insurance: U of I Insurance requirement
- Provide your student with an insurance card which includes policy numbers, billing address and pharmacy informations and encourage your student to carry the card at all times. (A photocopy of the front and back of your card is sufficient.) Insurance and billing questions and answers pamphlet
- Inform your health insurance company that your child will be away at college and find out if there are network providers here at UI Student Health and what the level of coverage is. (Tell your student what you find out.) Information form to bill insurance
- Provide your student with your pharmacy plan card, if you have one. The Westlawn Pharmacy is located in Student Health for your student's convenience. Prescriptions can easily be transferred from your local pharmacy to the Westlawn Pharmacy: Prescription transfers
- The University of Iowa offers an excellent Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP) option
3. Decision-making skills
- Spend time talking with your son or daughter about decisions he or she is likely to be faced with at college such as alcohol and other drug use, managing time, getting adequated sleep, stress, nutrition, fitness, sexual behavior, and financial responsibility.
- Let them know what your expectations are and that you will be available to listen.
- As your student's health care provider, we are legally required to protect the privacy of their health information. If your student is 18 years of age or older, we cannot provide you with any of their health information, including billing information, unless they sign a Consent to Release Information form. For more information, please read our Privacy Notice
4. Suggestions for a basic health care kit to send with student
- Supplies such as Band-Aids; thermometer; ace bandage for strains or sprains; sunscreen; cotton swabs, etc.
- Medications for pain and/or fever relief like acetaminophen or ibuprofen; antibacterial hand sanitizers; antibiotic cream or ointment like Abacitracin; hydrogen peroxide; anti-diarrheal e.g., Imodium; antihistamine for itching or allergies like Benadryl; etc.
5. Care for ongoing conditions
- Have a plan in place on how your child will manage any chronic conditions he/she may have.
- If your child has ADHD, click here for frequently asked questions.
We are here to help your student succeed by providing quality health care, education and health promotion. Please take a few minutes to watch the following video to find out why we are your student's campus health care experts.