School Physicals

School Physicals

The ultimate goal of school physicals is to make sure your child is safe and healthy for the upcoming school year. These annual visits are a surefire way to way to keep tabs on your child’s health, get their official growth statistics, and have a real conversation with their doctor about any concerns, questions, or changes to look for in the upcoming year.

What are school physicals and why are they so important anyway?

School physicals are wellness checkups that are required by most schools before a student can participate in sports and other activities. They are typically the only visit children and teenagers have with their doctors every year. This annual appointment gives doctors a chance to monitor development and address any physical, emotional, or social concerns.

Physicals are also an excellent opportunity to make sure that your child’s vaccinations are up-to-date and that they have no urgent health concerns. These checkups give the school and athletic staff information to best provide for your child.

What’s the difference between well-child visits, school physicals؟

These are just different names for basically the same wellness checkup. The main difference is that the appointment can be adapted to best suit your child’s needs. If you child is an athlete, it is extremely important to tell the doctor what sports your child plays, how often they practice, and any sports related injuries they’ve had in the past. The doctor can then provide a more extensive physical exam based on the needs of an athlete versus a non-athlete.

Why do you need to provide so much medical history?

The medical history section usually involves questions like:

  • Serious illnesses among family members
  • Illnesses the child was diagnosed with when they were younger (asthma, diabetes, etc)
  • Previous hospitalizations or surgeries
  • Past injuries
  • When your child has ever passed out, felt dizzy, had chest pain, or trouble breathing during exercise
  • Any current medications

Providing this information may possibly be the most important part of the exam. You should take your time answering these questions and have your child help so they know their medical history. Doctors look at this information to consider possible conditions a child might have.

What should you bring?

You should bring any medical forms that you need to have the doctor fill out. As well as glasses, contacts, or hearing devices if your child normally wears them.

What does a school physical include, and is it invasive?

School physicals are non-invasive and straightforward. The doctor will:

  • Record weight and height
  • Check vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, etc.)
  • Test your child’s vision and hearing
  • Check heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose, and throat
  • Evaluate your child’s posture, joints, strength, and flexibility

Throughout the screening, we will let you know if anything is a cause for concern or requires further evaluation. It is always the goal of FHCSL to make our medical exams as pleasant and relaxed as possible. The more comfortable your child is, the more accurate our assessment can be.