As summer draws to a close, you’re undoubtedly looking to the future and the start of a wonderful new school year. One important task you can’t overlook, though, is to schedule your child for a routine physical exam.

This once-yearly visit is not only required by many schools, but it is also vital to the health of your child. By monitoring their physical and mental development, you can catch any problems early, so you have time to treat and correct them.

Ravneet Dhaliwal and the staff at Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care want to make the process easy and pleasant for both you and your child. They specialize in pediatric care, which includes school physicals.

Why are physicals important?

Getting regular physicals is crucial, because children and teens are growing and developing and go through a lot of changes every year. These changes need monitoring.

Physical development

The doctor will record your child’s height, weight, blood pressure, and visual ability. A physical exam typically involves these checks:

  • Visual check of spine curvature
  • Check of the abdomen for tender areas and for hernias
  • Check of the lymph nodes for swelling
  • Listen to the heart for irregularity
  • Check for deficiencies in vision and hearing

If anything is abnormal, the doctor will discuss possible treatments to correct the condition.

Mental development

The doctor will also check your child’s mental development. She will ask about their ability to read and write, to socialize, and to concentrate.

Schools require physicals

Depending on where you reside, the exact requirements can vary. However, most schools require physicals so that every child is up-to-date on their immunizations. This protects your child, the other students, and the teachers by preventing viruses from spreading throughout the school population. Some schools also require children get physicals in order to participate in athletics.

Are sports physicals different?

Sports physicals take things a step further, ensuring that your child is healthy enough to participate in highly active and physical activities. The doctor will take into consideration how susceptible they are to injury and any conditions they suffer from. The goal is to clear only students who are healthy enough to participate.

How to prepare for your child’s physical

Check with your child’s school for a packet or pamphlet about their requirements, including if there is a specific form you need the doctor to fill out. If your school has a website, you can also check it for any information or required documents.

Each school has its own documents and procedures, but here are some common requirements.

  • Change in the child’s health from their last physical
  • Insurance information
  • Complete list of your child’s medications

Schedule your child’s physical today

With the first day of school right around the corner, now is the time to schedule your child’s physical. Dr. Dhaliwal and her staff at Night Watch Pediatric Urgent Care will put both you and your child at ease, and you can breathe easy knowing that your child is healthy and happy.

Request an appointment today by calling us at 703-214-6564 so your child will be ready to go for the first day of school.