While children on summer break are planning their next fun activity, parents are already preparing for the approaching school year. Preparing for the school year requires much more than binders, paper and pencils, as parents must worry about making sure their child has the required back-to-school physical. To perform well and learn all that they can, a child must be healthy, which is why a back-to-school physical is important for all children.
Requirements and Recommendations
At HHM Health, we highly recommend children receive physical exams every two years. However, in the state of Texas, students entering kindergarten or seventh grade are required to have a certain number of doses per required vaccination.
Before a child enters kindergarten, the following vaccines and doses are given:
- Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTap): 4 doses
- Polio: 4 doses
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR): 2 doses
- Hepatitis B: 3 doses
- Varicella: 2 doses
- Hepatitis A: 2 doses
Before a child enters seventh grade, the following vaccinations are given:
- Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (DTap): 1 booster if at least five years have passed since the last dose of DTaP.
- Meningococcal (MCV4): 1 dose
If your child plays a sport at school, a physical is required. These exams are very important for keeping a child healthy, as they screen for heart conditions, anxiety, depression, bone conditions and so much more! Sports physicals allow students time to discuss important matters with their doctors, including concussions and menstrual changes.
Some schools offer sports clinics that perform physicals for student-athletes. However, HHM Health strongly advises parents to schedule a physical with the child’s primary care provider. Children typically feel more comfortable with their primary care provider as there is a prior relationship, and it allows the primary healthcare provider to update the child’s medical record.
Physicals should be scheduled in advance to school starting to help guarantee that the date and time are available and convenient to you and your athlete.
Preparing for the Physical
To prepare for a physical, parents can help their children by discussing the importance of vaccinations before visiting the physician. It is best to remember that every child is different. Some children need time to prepare for vaccines and examinations, while others handle the stress better by simply receiving a talk the morning before the appointment.
Before bringing your child in for a physical, please check with their school to see if there are additional forms that need to be filled out by your child’s primary healthcare provider. If so, please print them out and bring them with you to your appointment. If you have never visited HHM Health before and are seeing a new provider, we advise bringing copies of past vaccinations, so we can update records.
If you have visited HHM Health before, please notify us if your family’s medical history, insurance or your child’s medication list has changed.
As the date of your child’s physical approaches, please write down any questions or concerns that you wish to ask your child’s healthcare provider about their growth, development and health. This allows you and your child to begin the school year with the peace of mind that you need to have success in the upcoming year.
Call or visit our website today to schedule your child’s back-to-school physical!