Back To School Physicals: The Annual Check Up You Don’t Want To Miss

August 16, 2021

Back to school means back to the doctor. This annual check up...aka a yearly physical, is the most important doctor visit of the year to evaluate your child’s overall health. So, you don’t want to skip this one

Annual physicals are also more comprehensive than a regular check up or a sports physical. So if you got your child a sports physical for summer camp or summer sports, this does not mean that they can skip it. They still need a FULL physical to see what’s going on head to toe. And, no matter what grade your child may be entering, or if they’re leaving for college, they need this more comprehensive physical so that they’re prepared for the next year.

Why? Because schools are common breeding grounds for bacteria, infections or getting sick with viruses like the Flu. Your child may need things like their required yearly vaccinations, blood work, or information on injury prevention for sports they may be playing this fall. An annual or back to school physical will cover ALL of this.

AFC Urgent Care West Hartford is already ahead of the game and is here to help guide you on back to school physicals and what you need to know.
Back to school physicals can help build your child’s medical history
Having an annual check up is vital for your child’s growth and development. By getting a yearly physical, especially before going back to school, it allows for your child to build up a medical history. Getting checked out not only helps detect early health problems, but also helps you stay informed about your child’s history of past illnesses, injuries or immunization records.

For instance, if you’re unsure if your child has asthma, we can help evaluate them and get them on a management plan to keep their asthma under control during the school year. If they do have asthma and want to play a fall sport, this annual physical can help clear them for sports. Everything would be on record so that in the following year, your child won’t have to be evaluated or tested for asthma again.

Going Back to School also means you have update with your immunizations
Are vaccines really necessary?

Here’s the number 1 reason why they ARE: vaccinations can help protect you or your loved ones from life threatening diseases that can have unfortunate long term effects. Even though we might not ever come into contact with some of these life threatening diseases, we should still take precautions.

Schools may require updated immunizations such as:

● Meningitis
● Hepatitis B
● Influenza
● Tetanus
● Diphtheria
● Pertussis

Depending on your child’s age, they all have a vaccination schedule. The CDC lists the most common vaccinations a child has to get from ages 0-18.

Colleges, on the other hand, may also require specific requirements too. Vaccination requirements often differ from college to college for incoming college Freshman who will be living in the dorms. Don’t know what’s required for your child’s particular school? Look on the college website for Health Services where the requirements will usually be listed. If not, contact them directly.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine required for going back to school?
At this time, only select colleges and universities around the U.S are mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for college students when returning in the fall, although with the Delta variant on the rise, we suspect that these numbers will increase as we get closer to the fall. This state by state list is here.

Although as of 7/28, the United States is roughly around 57% vaccinated with at least one dose, there are still plenty of people that are not vaccinated. A COVID-19 vaccine with either one dose of the Johnson & Johnson or two doses of the Moderna & Pfizer is the best safeguard at this time.

Right now, The CDC recommends ages 12 and up to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Can a sports physical and an annual physical be done in the same visit?
In short, Yes. But, what’s the difference?

Sports physicals only focus on the athletes health and ability to perform physical activities while an annual physical is more comprehensive and covers a patient's full medical history. With that being said, a sports physical will not replace a regular physical. So, it’s best to have them done in the same visit, especially if your child is going back to school and planning on playing a fall sport.
Don’t forget your health forms!
If your child needs health forms filled out, don’t forget to bring them with you! Come in to AFC Urgent Care West Hartford at 1030 Boulevard, West Hartford, where one of our providers is always available and ready to answer any questions or concerns about physicals, renewing immunizations and what your child will need when going back to school. We are open 7 days a week, 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and also 8am-5pm on the weekends. We accept most insurances!

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