Children undergo significant changes in their growth and development during their school years. A school physical is an important part of your child’s health care to make sure that they are in good health and ready for the upcoming school year.
Why Are School Physicals Important?
The role of a school physical is to assess and monitor whether a child is experiencing healthy, age-appropriate development. It aims to help prevent serious childhood illnesses by identifying any health issues that may require further investigation in the early stages. A school physical is also the perfect opportunity to ask any questions you or your child may have about their health, well-being, or lifestyle.
What Can I Expect at a School Physical?
A school physical involves a head-to-toe physical exam, which allows your provider to fully evaluate your child’s growth and physical development. The exam assesses a variety of things, such as:
- Health and medical history
- Height and weight
- Blood pressure, heart, oxygen saturation levels, and other important physical systems
- Inspecting the ears, nose, mouth, and throat
- Checking joints and reflexes
- Posture, flexibility, strength
- Vision and hearing
- Routine screenings for health conditions may be recommended at certain stages, such as anemia, diabetes, or tuberculosis
Will My Child Need Vaccinations at Their Visit?
Vaccines provide important protection against potentially dangerous illnesses and diseases. Each vaccine is carefully timed to provide the best protection and at the safest time during development. Therefore, delaying or missing a vaccine is not recommended. Some vaccinations are mandatory for school attendance. At a school physical, your provider will check that all mandatory vaccinations that are required for school attendance are fully up to date to safeguard your child. Some schools may require proof of your child’s vaccination status within 30 days of enrollment.
Will My Child Require Any Other Tests?
Sometimes, laboratory tests may be required at your child’s school physical, and in some cases, a school may even choose to include these in their requirements. These types of tests are performed to assess overall health and to help identify any health concerns or disorders in the early stages – when there may not be any obvious symptoms present. Lab tests may include:
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Comprehensive metabolic panel or chemistry panel (to measure particular substances in the blood)
- Urinalysis to detect disorders, such as urinary tract infections, diabetes, and kidney disease
- Diabetes screening
- Thyroid function tests
Lab tests may also be recommended if your child has a preexisting health condition or if they are experiencing any abnormal symptoms.
How Often Will My Child Need A School Physical?
School physicals are recommended annually, and before the start of a new school year is often considered the best time to complete this assessment. Annual school physicals help to ensure that your child is healthy enough to attend school and take part in other activities, such as sports. They help detect any concerns in their earliest stages when treatment is typically more effective and can also help to identify if there are any health limitations that could impact their learning or other school-related activities.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children should have routine wellness checkups and health physicals until they reach the age of 21. However, the frequency of visits may vary depending on individual circumstances. For some children, other types of physical exams, such as sports physicals, may also be recommended. If there are any concerns about your child’s health and development between scheduled visits, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact your physician.
School Physicals in Fort Worth, TX
If your child is in need of a school physical, visit the expert physicians at EMC Express Care. Our dedicated healthcare providers offer school physicals, sports physicals, and a range of other comprehensive pediatric services to take care of all your child’s health needs.
School physicals are an important way of checking that your child is experiencing healthy, age-appropriate development and raising any questions or concerns you have. During your child’s visit to EMC Express Care, we will assess your child’s health and medical history and verify that all mandatory vaccinations necessary for school attendance are up to date.
We provide prompt, high-quality medical care at our walk-in clinic in North Richland Hills. If you would like to learn more or book your child’s school physical, call us today at (817) 503-8800, or simply visit our walk-in clinic, open daily from 10 am to 8 pm.