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Children’s physicals function to monitor developmental progress, identify potential health complications and provide medical interventions and counseling that help prevent disease and injuries in the future. Also known as well-child exams, children’s physicals are endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics as an opportunity not only to oversee a child’s health and development but also for parents to discuss questions and concerns they may have about expectations for physical, emotional, academic and social development. Parents work together with their children’s providers to achieve optimal pediatric and adolescent health.

Did you know…

that immunizations play an important role children’s physicals? It is during this time – when a child is visiting the providers in good health, rather than sick – that vaccinations are administered to prevent dangerous diseases. The AAP’s vaccine schedule is updated frequently to reflect the latest recommendations, which include vaccines to protect against diseases like hepatitis, measles, influenza, and the chicken pox. Because children experience rapid physical development and also require the most vaccinations in the first few months of life, most kids will visit a providers for a children’s physical approximately 10 times between birth and age 2.

Frequently Asked Questions

My child seems healthy. Do I really need to bring him to the providers for a physical?

Yes. Even if your child seems healthy, a providers can identify possible underlying problems, such as high BMI or developmental delays. The American Academy of Pediatrics has very specific recommendations for children’s physicals. Kids visit every few months until age two, and then annually between ages 2 and 6. After age 6, well-child exams are every other year until age 10, when annual recommendation resume.

What should I expect during my child’s physical?

Your child will be measured and weighed, and the providers will conduct various screenings to ensure your child’s health and development are on track for his or her age. You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions, and your son or daughter will receive immunizations based on the schedule recommended by the AAP.

Will I need to follow any special instructions in caring for my child after our visit to the providers?

Possibly. If your child’s providers finds any underlying health problems, you may be advised to take steps to manage your child’s diet, sleep, and activity levels. Depending on the results of the exam, your child may also require additional screenings, tests, procedures or medications.

Back-to-school is a busy time of year filled with books, class schedules, school supplies, and shopping for new clothes. It is also the time of year when students head to the providers for school physicals. Though not always required, school physicals are a way of monitoring a student’s general health and physical abilities, as well as detect any underlying conditions that could hinder classroom and athletic performance.

Did you know…

that some schools insist on mandatory physical exams before the start of a new school year? This is especially true of students who participate in certain activities, such as sports or marching band. You may be required to provide proof of your child’s physical and submit a providers statement of your child’s eligibility to participate in extracurricular activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my child need a physical before starting a new school year?

Yes. School physicals vary from your child’s annual check-up. This is an opportunity to ensure that your child’s vision and hearing are healthy and that your child is in good physical health to participate in athletic activities. School physicals are also the time to review vaccination records and update your child’s immunizations.
What should I expect during a school physical?

What should I expect during a school physical?

During your child’s school physical, you will be asked to complete a history of his or her health and family health. The providers will examine your child’s general health, reflexes, flexibility, overall physical fitness, hearing, and vision. Based on the information gathered during the exam, your child’s providers will discuss potential risks of injury and provide suggestions for treatment if applicable.

When should I bring my child to the providers for a school physical?

Most parents bring their children to the providers for school physicals in the weeks prior to the start of a new school year. However, you may find that other times throughout the year are appropriate as well. For example, many parents opt for student health exams before spring training begins or before their children leave for summer camp.

An annual physical is important for health maintenance and disease prevention. Adults who get annual physicals are more likely to discover potential health complications before they become serious and they are more aware of the importance of lifestyle choices and how they affect overall wellbeing. Several tests and screenings are performed to verify the health of the body’s various organs and systems. If a problem is uncovered during a routine check-up, treatment can begin immediately to slow or even halt its progression.

Did you know?

that annual physicals were not commonplace in America until the 1940’s? Their popularity has since escalated, with the National Institutes of Health reporting that more than 9 in 10 Americans now believe routine exams are essential for healthy living. In addition to patients, providers also believe yearly adult physicals are important – and not just for health reasons. Visiting a [city] providers on a periodic basis helps establish a trusting relationship that facilitates communication and trust when potential health problems arise.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m an adult. Do I need an annual physical?

Yes. You should get a check-up with your providers every year. However, the types of screenings and exams that you’ll have may vary from year to year depending on your age and health.

What should I expect during my physical exam?

If it is your first time visiting your providers, you’ll complete paperwork about your personal and family health history, as well as any medications you may be taking and symptoms you may be having. A nurse or medical assistant may weigh you and check your blood pressure. When the providers comes into your exam room, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss symptoms and ask any questions you may have. You may then be submitted to a series of tests that screen for diseases or systemic complications. Finally, your providers may provide lifestyle recommendations for healthy living and also encourage you to update your vaccinations.

Will I need to follow any special instructions following my check-up?

Your providers may recommend making certain changes to your lifestyle habits following your exam. For example, you may be encouraged to exercise more, eat more healthfully, get more sleep, reduce your stress, or even begin taking certain vitamins, supplements or medications.

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