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 doctor 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 detecting 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 doctor’s 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?
During your child’s school physical, you will be asked to complete a history of his or her health and family health. The physician 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 physician will discuss potential risks of injury and provide suggestions for treatment if applicable.
When should I bring my child to the doctor for a school physical?
Most parents bring their children to the doctor 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.