Your child’s back-to-school physical may seem like just another item on your To Do list, but it is so important! This annual check-in provides the chance to:
- Help you understand and track your child’s medical history.
- Access your child’s progress and general health.
- Address any underlying emotional, developmental, and/or social issues.
- Prepare your child to safely play sports.
Curious about what, exactly, a physical entails? First, the doctor will check your child’s eyes, ears, throat, lungs, and abdomen. They will also check in about injuries, nutrition, training, exercise, and attitudes toward school and exams, as well as ensure that all vaccines are up to date. When your child becomes a teenager, the doctor will discuss sex, drugs, alcohol, and unsafe activities.
But remember: the doctor should not be the only one asking questions! Make sure to check in about:
- How well you child is growing. Are they getting proper nutrition? The right amount of exercise?
- How to identify if your child has a learning disability.
- Upcoming issues or developmental milestones to watch out for.
If your child is interested in playing a sport, they will likely be required to get a sports physical. You, your child, and your child’s doctor need to discuss:
- The basics of the sport and how much energy it will require.
- What position your child will play.
- Your child’s size, and whether they can safely play the sport in question
- Common injuries to be aware of.
- The required protective gear.
- How to safely play the chosen sport — and how to make the sport safer!