Schedule Your Child’s School Physical With Your Provider Today
by UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine
April 26, 2022

By: Jenny Olson, DNP, UnityPoint Clinic® Pediatrics – Mulberry

 Jenny Olson, DNP, UnityPoint Clinic® Pediatrics – Mulberry

With thoughts of warm weather and summer on our minds, it’s hard to believe we’re already talking about school physicals. Your child’s annual physical (also called back-to-school physical, well-child visit, yearly check-up, etc.) is an important part of your child’s path to overall health. Children change a lot in one year, and it’s important for your pediatrician to track their growth and development with an in-person visit.

An annual physical allows providers to comprehensively evaluate your child’s health to make sure he or she is ready for the next year of life. Most appointments take around 30 minutes, start to finish, and the age of your child dictates what needs to be done at that visit. To participate in sports in the state of Iowa, a student must have a physical. In the state of Illinois, children must have a physical examination prior to entering kindergarten, sixth, and ninth grade. Certain vaccinations are required for children upon entering different grade levels.

Schools and sports teams use annual physicals to protect the entire student population. Knowing students are up to date on vaccinations and generally healthy helps prevent outbreaks from occurring among the students. Annual physicals also help ensure all athletes are physically ready for the season, helping prevent possible injuries.

What should you bring to your appointment?

• Your most recent insurance card.
• A summary of the child’s medical history.
• A list of the child’s prescriptions or over-the-counter medications.
• Any specific form that needs to be filled out for a specific sport or camp.

There’s nothing more important than the health and safety of your children. From well-child exams to back-to-school and sports physicals, our providers are here to care for you.

Remember, sports physicals don’t take the place of annual physicals because sports physicals are specific only to the sport and mostly focus on injury prevention. The sports physical doesn’t address other health factors in a child’s life. A child who has an annual physical with their primary care provider won’t need an additional sports physical during a year unless there’s a change in the child’s medical history that could impact the child’s sport participation. Every year, students in grades 7-12 must have a sports physical exam in the state of Iowa and Illinois.

While there’s no “correct” time to have your child in for his/her physical, most schools need an updated physical form within the past year prior to the start of a new school year. Scheduling your appointment now helps you find a time that’s best for your family and beats the rush in the days before school resumes from summer break.

Now is the best time to schedule your child’s back-to-school physical. Don’t delay this important annual appointment to ensure your child’s health and development are on track. Seeing your child in-person could mean we can spot concerns early-on. For children and teens, we remain focused on growth, development, and physical and emotional well-being.

Contact your child’s primary care provider to schedule their physical. Learn more at Don’t have a provider? Find one here:

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