August is notorious for “Back-to-school” everything! Think you’ve got everything done on the list for your kid? Don’t forget to add “get their back to school physical”, right at the top of your checklist!
Why is it important to get your child a physical this year? Because schools are common breeding grounds for bacteria, infections and viruses like the Flu. Your child may need 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 and is more comprehensive than a checkup.
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 so you can get your little trooper the physical they need to stay healthy for the school year.
Getting A Physical Every Year Will 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.
Back To School Physicals May Include Immunizations!
Your child might be due for an immunization update.
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:
Depending on your child’s age, they all have a vaccination schedule. If your child missed a physical or an immunization you can follow along with The CDC’s list the most common vaccinations a child has to get from ages 0-18.
College Students Need a Physical and Specific Vaccines to Attend
Colleges, on the other hand, may also require specific requirements. 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.
Last but not least, your college student may have to get a COVID-19 Vaccine or booster as they are still required for most schools and colleges around the U.S. It’s best to check with the school your child is planning on attending for their specific requirements and to make sure they have all of the required shots.
Typical vaccine requirements for incoming Freshmen are:
And while many colleges and universities have their own set of college immunization requirements (i.e., one to two doses of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) and one to two doses of meningococcal are the most common, according to Dr. Feemster), you shouldn’t rely on the school’s shortlist to ensure your students are fully protected.
Playing A Fall Sport? Get Cleared To Play Within The Same Physical
It’s important to know that sports physicals will not replace a regular annual physical. 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 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.
Bring 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!
Walk-in or make an appointment today!