Whether you choose to send your child back to in-school learning this fall, you still need to schedule your child for a physical exam. No matter which grade your child is about to enter, a routine physical exam is an important part of back-to-school preparation. This annual physical also can be combined with a sports physical examination, required if your child will be participating in extracurricular activities this school year.
What to Expect
- Assessment of physical well-being. During a school physical, your board-certified clinician will perform a routine physical that includes measurements and evaluations of your child’s growth and development. The clinician will measure height, weight, pulse and blood pressure. He or she will also evaluate the eyes, ears, nose and throat; neck, chest and lymph nodes; heart and abdomen; skin and muscles; and the joints and spine.
- Building a medical history. Routine physicals are an opportunity for young patients to build a medical history. Having a long-term record gives the clinician an awareness of your child’s progress and development over time. Your clinician will review family medical history, any past illnesses or hospitalizations, and current medications.
- Charting and paperwork. Ensuring your child is current on all state-required vaccinations is an important part of a school or sports physical for kids. Your clinician can make sure all immunizations are up-to-date and administer vaccines if needed. You will receive a printed report of your child’s statistics and immunizations for your records. In addition, please bring any school-required physical forms to your child’s appointment.
When to Schedule
For your convenience, it’s best to schedule back-to-school physicals well in advance of the start of school to avoid the back-to-school rush for physicals and required immunizations. If you need a physical test for sports, the best timing is at least six weeks before the start of preseason practice for the respective sports season. This allows time to further evaluate and treat any problems that are discovered during the physical. It also gives your athlete more time to get in shape, reducing the chance of injury once practice begins.
Why You Need a Physical?
Clinicians see children and adults to conduct physicals for several reasons.
Camp physicals will determine if it is safe for a patient to participate in planned camp activities. Basic physicals are a great way to check whether you are truly healthy when you haven’t needed to see a doctor for a while. And school physicals ensure that students have received all required immunizations and are in overall good health prior to the start of school.
Physicals ensure that you can safely participate in the activities that you or your children have planned. Children and adults can both benefit from the physical exams we give at our clinics, inside select grocery stores and pharmacies. Some of the measurements and evaluations provided during a routine physical include:
- Height and weight
- Blood pressure
- Eyes, ears, nose and throat
- Neck and chest
- Heart and abdomen
- Lymph nodes
- Skin and muscles
- Joints and spine