Back To School Physicals: Add It To Your Child’s Checklist

August 17, 2021

It’s that time of year. August is notorious for back to school shopping, back to school supplies, and most importantly, back to school physicals.


If your child missed their annual check-up last year, then this one is going to be the most important physical yet. Why? Because physicals are a great way to determine if they’re healthy, up to date on immunizations, and cleared to participate in school sports.


Need answers about what to expect for this year’s back to school physicals? Here’s what you should know about adding back to school physicals to your child’s checklist.


Remember to bring your forms!


Skipped last year’s doctor visit? It’s time to come in

If your child skipped their doctor’s visit last year, it’s time to play catch up. Going back to school in-person means the risk for spreading germs increases. Although schools are sticking to COVID-19 safety precautions, it doesn’t mean your child won’t get sick.


In the same way the 2019 to 2020 school year we had cases of colds, flu and other respiratory illnesses, we want to make sure that your child is physically ready for that. Contagion is rampant in school!


Playing catch up also means updating their medical records. Now is the time for your little ones to build up a medical file so that in case they do need to be seen for a medical emergency a doctor will know what to do next in terms of treatment.


Your child may need to renew immunizations before going back to school

Everyone has a vaccine schedule. Specifically, children in elementary and teens in middle school and highschool should follow their recommended immunization schedule.


The CDC lists the most common vaccinations a child has to get from ages 0-18. Here are the most frequently required immunizations from schools around the country:


Colleges on the other hand, also follow similar requirements to the list above. Vaccination requirements might slightly differ from college to college for incoming college Freshman who will be living in the dorms. If you don’t know what’s required for your child’s particular school we suggest that you look on the college’s website for Health Services where the requirements will usually be listed. If not, contact them directly.


COVID-19 vaccines may be required depending on your school

At this time, The CDC recommends ages 12 and up to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Although the United States is roughly around 70% vaccinated with at least one of the doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, there are still plenty of people who are not vaccinated.


Many colleges and universities around the U.S are mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for college students when returning in the fall, and with the Delta variant on the rise, we suspect that these numbers will only  increase as we get closer to the fall.

This state by state list is here.


My child already got a sports physical this summer.  Can they skip their annual physical?

Sports physical and an annual physical serve two entirely different purposes. A sports physical only covers the athlete's capability to participate in sports. This means their physical fitness like their heart rate, weight, height, flexibility, posture, lungs, blood pressure, etc are all checked.


A  back to school physical on the other hand, is more comprehensive. It covers everything from head to toe. But good news! You can have both a sports physical and physical done in SAME visit. A full physical will cover sports, and everything else unrelated to sports, like lab work, testing, vaccinations and overall well-being.


Make the most out of your child’s doctor visit by requesting both to be done

Checking off my child’s back to school physical at AFC Urgent Care New Bedford

Get a physical without the wait. If you’re looking for a quick, convenient and reliable place to get your child a back to school physical, come on in to our AFC Urgent Care center in New Bedford, MA any day of the week.


AFC New Bedford is located on 119 Coggeshall St. and we are open 7 days a week with extended hours on the weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm and we have weekend hours from 8 am to 5 pm. There is no appointment needed when visiting our center.


Just bring your school forms and any sports forms and we'll take care of the rest!



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