Time to Book Those Back-to-School Physicals

With less than three months to enjoy summer vacation, most families with school-aged children are busy trying make the most of longer days, consistently warm weather, and copious amounts of free time.

While it’s understandable that the upcoming school year is one of the last things you’d like to focus on when you’re out camping, at the pool, or on the road, there’s no better time than now to schedule your child’s annual back-to-school physical.

Research shows that children are more successful in the classroom and on the playing field when they’re healthy, and bringing them in for an annual physical is one of the best ways to assess their physical well-being and keep them up to date on their immunizations.  

Here at Family Practice Associates, we offer comprehensive school physicals and sports physicals for children of all ages. Read on to find out what you can expect at your child’s next back-to-school physical, and why you should get it on your mid-summer calendar as soon as possible.

What to expect during a school physical

Your child’s annual back-to-school physical is designed to check their overall health, provide any required immunizations, and add more information to their personal medical history. It consists of three main parts:

Medical history

The first part of your child’s school physical is dedicated to reviewing any pertinent family medical history as well as your child’s own medical history, including current medications, known allergies, and any recent illnesses, injuries, or hospitalizations. This information helps us build a long-term medical record that reveals important information about your child’s development over time.

Physical evaluation

The main part of your child’s school physical is the exam itself, which includes a variety of measurements and assessments to evaluate their growth, development, and overall health. After measuring their height, weight, heart rate, and blood pressure, we’ll evaluate their eyes, ears, nose, and throat. We also perform comprehensive health checks on their heart, lungs, abdomen, joints, spine, skin, and muscles.     

Immunizations and paperwork

Making sure your child is up to date on any required vaccinations is an essential part of their annual back-to-school physical, so be sure to bring their immunization record with you if we don’t already have it on file.

After administering any necessary vaccinations, you’ll receive a printed report of your child’s updated vaccination history along with their complete physical report. If you have any physical forms from the school, be sure to bring them to your child’s appointment, so we can fill them out, stamp, and sign them.    

How a sports physical is different

A sports physical, which can easily be performed in conjunction with a school physical, is specifically designed to identify and assess any specific areas of concern before your child begins a new activity or starts the next season of their favorite team sport.

Like a school physical, a sports physical evaluates your child’s blood pressure and heart rhythm for potential irregularities that should be caught before they head out on the field. A sports physical also assesses your child’s posture, strength, and flexibility to determine if they’re fit enough to play, or if they have an underlying condition that may interfere with their ability to participate safely.

Preseason sports physicals also help ensure that any previous injuries, such as a sprain, fracture, or concussion, won’t be problematic when returning to a favorite sport or starting a new one.

Avoid the last-minute rush — schedule now

It’s always a good idea to schedule back-to-school physicals well in advance to the start of the next school year, especially if your child also requires a preseason sports physical. It’s actually best to schedule a sports physical at least six weeks before your child’s first team practice, in case the exam uncovers any problem that requires further evaluation or treatment.

Scheduling early also helps you avoid the last-minute scheduling rush that keeps us on our toes for much of August.

At Family Practice Associates, we’re dedicated to helping young students and athletes stay healthy so they can do their best in the classroom and on the field, all year long. To learn more or schedule your child’s physical, call our office in Broomfield, Colorado, or book an appointment online.

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