Have you ever wondered why schools require physicals before students are allowed to attend? The main reason for physical exams is that students can easily carry a communicable disease, without even knowing they have it.
It is also a way to make sure that children are protected from common diseases such as mumps, measles, and chicken pox with up-to-date vaccines and immunizations. As you may well know, when you have kids together in large groups, germs and bacteria spreading are an uncontrollable factor.
Although it may seem like yet another task to complete before your child can go to school, the truth is that school physicals are an important part of your child’s health and well-being.
A school physical is designed to set health benchmarks such as weight, vital signs, and look for signs of illness, such as scoliosis, which tends to appear during certain ages. And hearing and vision tests are important benchmarks to see if your child will have any problems hearing or seeing normally in school. An annual school physical is really an investment in the health of your precious child.
What to Expect in a School Physical
A typical school physical may include:
- Charting your child’s height and weight to determine if they are growing properly
- Checking blood pressure and pulse
- Basic vision and hearing tests
- Palpating or pressing on the abdomen
- Listening for sounds in the lungs and heart
- An examination of the ears, eyes and throat
- Gathering a complete medical history including immunization records
- Checking for any obvious signs of disease
- Testing for range of motion, strength and flexibility
A school physical can be a good time to talk to your child’s doctor about anything of concern, such as growth rates, eating and exercise habits. You can also talk to the doctor about any medications your child may be taking for common issues such as allergies and asthma. If your child has a medical condition or injury, your doctor can advise you about allowing them to participate in school activities like sports. A school physical is meant to help your child, and their classmates, to be healthy, happy and ready to learn.
Your family medicine doctors are well aware of what to look for and do for school physicals, especially if they are familiar with the health status of your child. For more information about school physicals, or to make an appointment with one of our exceptional family medicine specialists, please call Intercoastal Medical Group today at (941) 362-8662 or request an appointment online. Intercoastal Medical Group: dedicated to your wellbeing for life.