A back to school physical exam is a great way to keep your children healthy. Summer vacation is coming to a close, and students and their parents are preparing for another school year. While juggling school supply shopping, activity sign-ups, and any last minute summer trips, it can be easy to forget to schedule a back to school physical for your child. Many schools require physicals prior to the school year, and plenty of sports and school activities require one as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children between ages 5 and 18 have a physical exam once a year.

But while physicals are somewhat of a requirement, they can also provide valuable feedback and information on the growth and health of your child - which is far more important! Mandatory or not, here are a few reasons why a visit to the pediatrician before the first day of school can set your student up for success in the coming year.

  • For Student Athletes: Children who are participating in any fall sports will need to have a check-up prior to the start of their season or by the first day of school to make sure they are healthy and ready to play. Pediatricians can address any injury concerns you may have as well as provide input on healthy exercise and training routines that will work best for your athlete. The doctor will also perform routine checks often performed in a physical, like height, weight, blood pressure, immunizations, medications, and more. Typically, many sports require a physical exam at least one month to 6 weeks prior to the start of the season. If your child is participating in any winter or spring sports, this is also good to keep in mind as the school year progresses.
  • For All Students: No matter what activities your student is involved in, having a routine physical prior to the start of the school year will help set them up for success. Aside from the routine check up procedures, the doctor may ask your students about study habits, friendships in school, problems with bullying, healthy eating, and involvement in after school activities. This is also an opportunity for your student to address any concerns they may have about their physical health, behavioral development, allergies, drug and alcohol use, anxiety, or depression. Any bad habits developed over the summer or since the child’s last check-up can be addressed and hopefully corrected prior to the first day of school.

Get your student off to a great start by scheduling a physical exam at the start of the new school year! At Capital Area Pediatrics, our team can help you and your child schedule a physical, and let your child address any concerns they may have about the upcoming year and their health. To schedule an appointment with a pediatrician, find your nearest location and our staff will be happy to help you and your child with your health care needs!