Article at a Glance
• Annual physicals help your pediatrician build a long-term medical history of your child’s development and catch any emerging health problems.
• During physicals, pediatricians often address important health issues relevant to your child’s age.
• Sport physicals are not the same as an in-depth physical from your regular doctor.
Can’t remember when your child last had a medical physical? Make it easy to remember by scheduling it around your child’s birthday. If you need to schedule your child’s physical before school starts, be sure to plan ahead. The demand for physicals around this time of year is very high, so it can often be difficult to get an appointment.
The annual physical is an important part of your child’s health. During the physical, the doctor will make sure your child’s immunizations are up-to-date and will thoroughly evaluate your child’s overall health. In the teen years, important topics like drinking, drugs, smoking, eating disorders, depression, and sexual activity are discussed.
An annual physical also provides an invaluable look at your child’s health over the long term. This allows your pediatrician to monitor your child’s development and catch any emerging health problems.
Although your children may have regular sports physicals, these are not the same as getting an in-depth physical from their regular doctor. Sport physicals generally only look for any potential health problems associated with playing sports. They also don’t have all the information your doctor has access to.
If your child is involved with sports, let your pediatrician know so that any special issues can be covered during the exam. Your pediatrician can help you determine if your child’s training program is appropriate and address issues like sport injuries, nutrition, and how to maintain a healthy balance between sports and other activities.
Your pediatrician is an invaluable ally as you work to raise a healthy, happy, and well-balanced child. Annual check ups are a great way to get your pediatrician in the loop.
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