The Importance of Back-to-School Physicals

School is out for summer! Although it may seem like the break has just begun, summer goes by in the blink of an eye and it is not too early to start planning for the school year ahead. From gathering supplies to meeting your child’s new teacher, there are many things for you to do before the year starts. One of the most importantis to schedule your child’s back-to-school physical and wellness visit.

“Back-to-school physicals are an important part of your child’s health care,” White-Wilson pediatrician Dr. Irina Smith says.  “Getting a physical annually will help ensure your child stays healthy and starts off the school year off right.”

Dr. Smith recommends that all school-age children visit their pediatrician for their back-to-school physical every year.

“Pediatricians use these visits to measure your child’s growth and development,” she explains. “An annual physical is a time dedicated to tracking your child’s development and discussing any concerns. It is a time for pediatricians to work with parents to plan for the year ahead and discuss strategies for things like asthma control, ADHD management, vaccinations and sports readiness.”

Other than a general health check-up, the back-to-school physicals also consist of a review of your child’s immunization records. In Florida, like many states, students are required to have specific vaccines before they begin kindergarten and others as they age. Failure to complete these immunizations may result in your child being unable to enroll. At your back-to-school appointment, your pediatrician can discuss vaccination requirements and answer any questions about them.

“If your child does need a vaccination,” Dr. Smith says, “we will be able to administer it during the same visit and provide you with an updated record for your child’s school.”

In short, back-to-school visits are essential because they prepare you and your child for the next year and help them put their best foot forward. It is a time to partner with your child’s pediatrician, to celebrate milestones and to create a plan that is best for your family.

“Being active and attentive in school is an extremely important part of your child’s development,” Dr. Smith concludes. “Just like you, we want to see them succeed and it all starts with their health.”

As the school year approaches, appointments do fill quickly. Beat the rush by scheduling your appointment now. Dedicated appointment spots are available each day in Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Navarre and Niceville. Call 850.863.8100 today to schedule.

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