A back-to-school physical is more than just a routine doctor appointment. It’s a great way to get your child’s school year off to the healthiest start possible.
Back-to-school physicals (also called well-child exams) are a chance for the doctor to evaluate your child’s growth and development, screen for common childhood conditions and make sure immunizations are up to date. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your child’s next check-up.
Prepare Some Questions
Before the visit, think about any questions you have related to your child’s health. Back-to-school physicals can be busy, and it’s easy to forget what you wanted to ask. Maybe you’re worried about your child’s sleep habits, screen time or fitness level.
When you arrive for your child’s appointment, let a nurse or physician assistant know about your questions so they can give the doctor a heads up.
Bring Your Forms
Many schools ask parents to fill out and return health-related forms before school starts in the fall, most of which require a doctor’s signature. Be sure to bring those school health forms with you to your child’s physical. If you don’t have the forms you need, check the school website or call the school secretary for help.
Think About Other Prescriptions
It’s also important to bring along a list of the medications your child takes regularly. Another option would be to download the AdventHealth app, where you can find physicians, schedule appointments, create personalized medical profiles for your whole family, and more.
Be sure to let the doctor know if your child received other medical care in the last year. This could include physical therapy, speech therapy or chiropractic care, for example.
Prepare for Immunizations
Immunizations keep kids and communities safe. They protect infants, children and teens from serious diseases. All school systems require certain immunizations in order for children to attend classes. Your child’s back-to-school physical is the ideal time to get up to date on those shots. If your child missed any immunizations at a younger age, the doctor may give “catch-up” immunizations.
Talk It Out
During the appointment, the doctor will want to talk with you and your child about health and safety. The conversation might cover topics such as exercise, nutrition, healthy sleep patterns, school work or household chores. It’s a way for the doctor to learn more about your child’s whole health and identify problems that may need medical care.
Before You Go
At the end of the appointment, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing you’re doing all you can to start your child’s next school year in the healthiest way possible.
If you need a pediatrician or family medicine doctor, AdventHealth is here to help. Learn more at PolkFamilyCare.com.