Parents’ Guide to Back to School Physicals

Posted on August 09, 2018

Category: Urgent Care General

It’s that time of year again. Many families schedule their children’s physicals before the kids head back to school, but—with school physicals being so infrequent—it can be hard to remember exactly what to expect.

Here are some reminders to help get you through school physical season:

1. What they’ll check

Be prepared for the doctors to check your child’s height, weight, blood pressure. The doctor may also check their lungs, heart, spine, and—depending upon the child’s age—look for signs of puberty.

2. Why it’s useful

Back-to-school physicals are a great way to track your child’s health, growth, and development. Be sure to speak with the physician to make sure your child is on track, and be prepared to take on any suggestions the doctor gives.

3. Physicals are not check-ups

A school physical should not replace your child’s annual check-up with their pediatrician, or a sports physical. School physicals check for things such as heart conditions, asthma, and pre-existing injuries. A full pediatric medical check-up covers all aspects of your child’s health. If your child requires a sports physical, be sure to get the necessary paperwork from the school ahead of time.

4. Vaccines

Find out what vaccines your child should be getting ahead of your appointment. It’s important to get your child vaccinated ahead of the school year because they will be exposed to any illnesses their classmates have. The Minnesota Department of Health’s immunization page is a great resource to make sure your child is up to date on their vaccinations.

5. Prepare

Make the most of your child’s physical exam by preparing questions to ask the doctor ahead of time. Having a written list of questions will ensure you have all the information you want about your child going into the new year. We’ve provided some questions below to get you started:

  • What are some physical or emotional signs I should monitor in my child?
  • Does my child have an appropriate BMI and weight for their age?
  • How can I make sure my child is getting enough exercise?

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