As the summer comes to a close, it is time for children to visit the doctor. While no kid relishes the thought of a physical exam, it is important to get a recent assessment on your child’s overall health. Depending on your school district, the annual exam may be required before your children begin attending classes or join athletic teams.
Why Schedule a Physical Exam?
The physical exam gives you and your doctor an idea of how your child is developing. In addition, you can discuss nutrition, sleep schedules and any pressing concerns you have about your child’s wellbeing.
Your doctor will talk about any prevalent illnesses in the community, as these can vary from year to year. As a parent, you may ask the doctor to talk to your older children about any issues they may feel more comfortable discussing in private and not with mom or dad.
Why Have an Exam Before School Starts?
A back-to-school doctor’s visit is convenient for many parents as it can be scheduled in addition to other errands to prepare for the fall. But there are also specific reasons to get this done before classes start.
Your school district may require certification of vaccinations for young children. As kids get older they may want to participate in physical education classes and you want to make sure they are physically able to do so.
If your teen is on any school athletic teams, they may require an examination by a school physician before they are cleared to play. Note that this exam typically only looks at whether your child can be on the school team and doesn’t address other health issues.
Taking the time to talk about any unexplained changes, like possible allergies, before school starts allows you to make preparations with the school. No parent wants to discover their child is allergic to nuts during a field trip before they have been able to educate their child and the teachers about steps to take in the case of a reaction.