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Why Your Child’s Back to School Physical Does Not Replace an Annual Checkup

back to school physical

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:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • 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.

Here's What Parents Say

  • “Everything about the visit was outstanding. We are so very happy we found this place. The staff is efficient, professional, and friendly. The facility is bright, clean, and child friendly. This will be our go to medical office…”

  • “Everyone we worked with, from the time we first called with questions through when we left after our appointment, was extremely friendly, efficient, and just overall wonderful and easy to work with. The place was clean, pretty, warm, and inviting!”

  • “Everyone is always patient and kind; it is so important to me that my kids are treated well especially at a doctor’s office because it directly influences their level of comfort and anxiety for the rest of their lives.”

  • “Fast, friendly and efficient service received. The Doctor was very friendly and informative. My child felt comfortable and was at ease by the kind nature of everyone. From the time we walked in we were greeted with a warm, friendly smile and immediate attention.”

  • “Always very welcoming and KinderMender makes it as comfortable as possible for the children. My son is no longer scared of going to the doctor because of his wonderful experiences here. It is so nice to have somewhere to take him that is not ‘scary.’ Thank you!”

  • “Everyone is always very friendly, helpful and sensitive to my child’s needs. They had us in and out in less than 20 minutes which is so important when dealing with a grouchy, sick child.”

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