As we reach the middle of the summer, parents in every state begin gathering the things their child will need to start school in the fall. Besides the required pencils, notebooks, crayons, rulers, paper and so on, one of the most important things your child needs is a physical checkup by a pediatrician. Here are six reasons not to skip this important step in readying your child for the school year.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends an annual physical for your child
Regardless of your child’s age, an annual exam is a must. From infancy on, good medical care is important. Not only are you able to catch problems before they become issues but you are also building your child’s medical history. You can count on being asked on the school application whether and when your child has received inoculations for childhood diseases. Your doctor’s office keeps these records. A medical history helps identify emerging problems and documents past illnesses and injuries so new problems can be looked at holistically.
An annual physical is an important safeguard
Wellness exams (physicals) are much more extensive than exams during a bout of illness. Pediatricians take time to properly assess your child from head to toe, Checking for anything out of the ordinary for your child requires a knowledge of his or her medical history. Baselines are drawn and compared year-to-year. Without this knowledge, problems can slip by, causing trouble later on.
A child is not a small adult
There is a very important difference between children and adults that makes an annual physical essential for kids. They’re growing. That means what is normal for one age may not be appropriate for another. During an annual physical, measurements are taken to be sure your child falls within what is considered healthy and normal for that particular age.
A regular exam isn’t just for physical problems
When children are small, they usually resist white-coated strangers poking and prodding them. But exposing your child to non-emergency medical situations allows him or her to become familiar with medical personnel and to overcome anxiety. Discussing issues like behavior and mental distress are also addressed at the annual physical.
Establishing healthy habits when young is an excellent idea
At your child’s annual checkup, it’s important to discuss habits. Eating and sleeping habits are formed when young, so why not make them healthy habits? You may not realize it, but pediatricians and family doctors know a lot about why kids do the things they do. If you’re experiencing problems with your child, it’s highly likely the doctor has dealt with this issue before and can offer tips to help you get your child back on track. From toilet training to sleeping routines to addictions (drugs, alcohol, sex, or internet), your doctor will likely know how to help. Never be embarrassed to discuss any issue that concerns your child with your doctor. It’s the best way to keep your child healthy.
Your child can’t play school sports without a sports physical
Schools are adamant. Until they have proof that your child is healthy, they will not risk allowing him or her on a sports team. And you shouldn’t want them to, either. Children are resilient but a sports injury can cause lasting damage to a young body. Making sure your child is fit to play school sports is important before he or she ever walks out onto the field.
If you haven’t established a relationship with a clinic or doctor for your child, you can always take advantage of America’s ER’s services. For just $35, you can have a physical performed for your child at your convenience, 24/7. You don’t even need an appointment!