The urge to postpone a child’s annual checkup can be incredibly strong if he or she recently had their sports or back to school physical.
You’ll want to resist that urge.
Back to school physicals are not meant to replace annual physicals for children. Just as sick visits are different from well-child visits, every trip to your pediatrician’s office serves a specific purpose.
Back to school physicals are important because they help children start the school year off on the right foot. These visits can help determine that no pre-existing medical conditions – allergies, asthma, or cardiac histories – are present before a child takes part in athletics programs or other school-related activities.
During your child’s back to school physical, your pediatric provider will review health and family histories, cardiovascular risk factors, and any congenital anomalies. If pre-existing conditions are present, school nurses and appropriate faculty can be made aware prior to the start of school, and appropriate measures or health plans can be made.
A back to school physical also includes the timely completion of any required school or sports forms.
Back to school physicals are not as detailed as an annual well-child checkup. Instead, they typically feature a basic exam to check:
- Blood Pressure
- Heart, lungs, abdomen
- Ear, nose, throat
- Agility and flexibility
Your pediatrician will also make sure your child’s immunization records are up-to-date.
An annual checkup, on the other hand, provides a far more thorough evaluation, including:
- A complete physical exam (with vision and hearing screenings)
- Developmental, nutritional, and behavioral assessments and/or screenings
- Nutritional advice
- Discussion and advice regarding sleeping habits, physical activity, and health and safety risks
Annual checkups are necessary due to the amount of changes that take place throughout childhood in the span of just one year. Seeing your family doctor on a routine basis also helps to build a rapport and fosters a trusting relationship that is essential for quality healthcare.
KinderMender offers back to school and sports physicals all summer long at all four of its convenient Maryland locations. Beat the August rush and stop in today. No appointment is necessary.