Back to School Physical Exams and What to Expect
Whether you are a parent of a preschool or a school age child, though we are midway through the summer, you are probably already in your preliminary back to school mode. With that said, school physical examinations are every bit a part of the back to school protocol, but must be completed before school actually begins. Physical examinations and immunizations can be a bit of a challenge and even a nuisance, but indeed they are mandatory and beneficial to everyone’s health, not just your child’s.
Check Your Child’s School Requirements
In New Jersey, there are school health requirements that have to be met before starting school and the fact is that most states require all children to submit a health record indicating that they have had their physical exam and evaluation performed and necessary immunizations as well. It is imperative that school physical exams are performed and signed by either a licensed doctor, an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse or a Physician’s Assistant.
What Happens During a School Physical
Physical Assessment – The primary purpose of your child’s physical exam is to gain an overall assessment of the physical well being of the student. During your child’s school physical examination, the pediatrician or certified clinician will conduct a routine physical including measurements and assessments of your child’s development and growth. They will measure weight, height, blood pressure and pulse. They will also assess, examine and evaluate your child’s eyes, nose, ears, throat, chest, neck, and lymph nodes. Further to the exam, they will evaluate your child’s heart, abdomen, muscles, skin, joints and their spine.
Establish a Medical History – The performance of routine examinations allows for a medical history to be established and put in place. Having this medical history in place helps your child’s pediatrician be aware of your child’s development and overall health progress over time. When conducting your child’s physical examination for school the clinician will first review the family medical history along with any past illnesses or hospitalizations the child has had as well as discuss any current medications your child is taking.
Charting all Your Medical Records – Whether a child is having a physical exam to enter school or to participate in school sports, it is mandatory that the child has had all the vaccinations the state requires. Your doctor or clinician, at the time of the school physical exam, will ensure that all your child’s immunizations and shots are current and up to date and will also administer any additional vaccines that are required dependent upon their age and the grade in school they are entering. The doctor will provide you with a complete report and a printout of your child’s statistics, medical findings and immunizations for you to maintain in your personal records. Be sure when you arrive for your child’s physical examination that you bring along any forms that may be specifically required by your school. Also, when your child is set to start school, be sure they bring along proof that their physical examination has been performed and their immunizations and shots are current.
Schedule Your Child’s Annual Physical Today
School will be starting before you know it, so be sure to contact the team here at Riverside Medical Group and schedule your child’s upcoming school physical exam and any necessary immunizations they may need. We have multiple pediatric locations in New Jersey for you to visit. We look forward to serving you and to contributing to the overall health and safety of your child!