Here’s what to keep in mind for your back to school health checklist
It’s never too early to begin checking your back to school to-dos off the list! Whether your child is going to be starting school for the first time or entering their final year of high school, having a well-visit before school begins can help you navigate mandatory requirements for some school districts. It cam also help you screen your child, detecting any potential problems earlier before they’ve turned into serious health conditions. Start the year off strong by keeping back to school health in check!
The American Academy of Pediatrics has developed a periodicity schedule, consisting of guidelines with typical screenings and assessments that should be done at each well-visit from infancy through adolescence.
The annual back to school health physical might include:
- Establishing your child’s health status and collecting a full health history. This is the time to mention any family history of chronic diseases and your opportunity to share any current concerns you might have.
- Tracking your child’s growth and development. During your child’s visit, vital signs, like blood pressure, or other parameters, such as their height and weight, will be reviewed by their provider.
- Complete a full physical examination. In addition to the vital signs, your provider will perform an age-appropriate physical examination. This might include assessing their spine, hip, and knee areas.
- Performing hearing and vision screenings. A problem with your child’s vision or hearing can impair academic performance, speech development, and their total well-being. As part of preventive care, these screenings are typical parts of the well-child visit.
- Screening for development disorders and/or behavioral health issues. It’s not all about the physical. Early identification of these problems is critical to your child’s success and there is a list of standard screenings. During this time, you can share key milestones or raise any concerns you might have with your child’s provider.
- Ensuring your child is up-to-date on any immunizations. Head to the CDC website for a list of suggested vaccination schedules depending on your child’s age.
Need to establish care with a physician or advanced practice clinician? Visit mercy.com for a list of our providers and schedule your next visit online.