It may seem like an unnecessary hassle, but getting your child a physical prior to the start of the school year is an important step in their ongoing health maintenance. Unlike quick visits that address an injury or illness, preventive physicals give the family medicine team at South Plains Rural Health a chance to thoroughly evaluate your child from head-to-toe.
Here’s why it is so important to get your child a physical before school starts, no matter what grade they’re about to enter.
Establish a medical history
A yearly physical is conveniently scheduled just before school starts. This means we at South Plains Rural Health have a history of your child’s growth, illnesses, progress, and development over time. If your child’s health should change, even just a little, the doctors can determine if it’s possibly an emerging problem that requires intervention.
Also, the visit is a good time to update all necessary vaccinations. Vaccines help keep kids safe from devastating illnesses such as chicken pox and polio. Even if they’re up-to-date on these major vaccines, a flu vaccine is recommended every year – this pre-school physical is a great time to get it.
Screen for disease
Some chronic conditions don’t have outward symptoms, especially in the first stages of the disease. Children and teens can have diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Early treatment means these conditions are managed and less likely to lead to complications.
Check eyesight and hearing
Many times, a child doesn’t realize they’re having vision or hearing problems because that’s just how they’ve always experienced the world. Sometimes issues with vision and hearing creep up so gradually, they don’t notice them at all. A pre-school physical identifies these issues before they have trouble seeing the overhead or hearing the teacher in class.
Getting a physical is a key time to address your questions and the questions of your child when it comes to proper diet and exercise. Establishing a healthy way of life early on sets them up for a lifetime of good health.
Teenagers often have questions about sexual activity, smoking, alcohol use, and drugs. Giving your child an authority to speak to about these matters in a confidential setting is critical.
A pre-school physical isn’t just about physical health, either. This exam can detect mental health issues such as anxiety, problems with bullying, or depression, which can affect kids – especially when the prospect of school looms.
Clear them for extracurricular play
If your child is in sports or wants to get into sports, a pre-school physical clears them for play. The school physical is a time to address nutrition, injuries, training, and chronic conditions – such as asthma – that may need to be managed prior to getting on the team. Overtraining and overuse injuries, like tendinitis, are also prevalent in young athletes. The doctors at South Plains Rural Health can help your child prevent them or help manage them if they already have pain.
Being a parent is difficult. Don’t do it alone. At South Plains Rural Health, we’re here to help you manage the physical and mental health of your children, so they can thrive. Schedule a physical before school starts to make sure they’re getting the care and support needed to do well in the year ahead. Call the nearest location, whether that’s in Big Spring, Levelland, or Lamesa, Texas, or use the convenient online tool.