Many kids head back to school today; others, including my own, already have several days or weeks under their belt. Wherever your child is in the academic year, it's not too late to schedule a back-to-school check-up with their doctor - a message relayed to readers in a recent Healthier, Happier Lives Blog post:
“For a lot of families, the yearly physical is the only time they come into our office because their children are generally healthy otherwise,” said Christianne Strickland, MD, a Stanford Children’s Health pediatrician...
The exam begins with checking a patient’s vital signs, height and weight, progress on the growth chart, and hearing and vision tests. Pediatricians like Strickland, or South Bascom colleagues Patricia Ferrari, MD, and Mary Beth Hughes, MD, also discuss immunization schedules with parents. If vaccines are warranted, they are administered after the exam.
“Back-to-school appointments allow us to take a complete history of the patient, which down the line helps us when they do come in with an illness,” said Strickland. “We make sure they are growing properly and don’t have physical problems that perhaps weren’t detected by the parents. The physical exam is really about preventative medicine."
In the piece, Strickland also provides a few practical tips regarding screen-time and exercise (the importance of which was just discussed here on Friday.)
Previously: Tips for parents on back-to-school vaccinations
Photo by Michelle Brandt