school physicalYou should already know by now that the U.S. has a problem with childhood obesity. With 70% of obese youth in America at risk for high blood pressure, school physicals have become more important than ever before. School is no longer in session and summer is in full swing, which means that now is the perfect time to visit your local family clinic to make sure your child is prepared for their school physical.

Whether it is your child’s first time or it’s just been a while, here is a brief overview of what they can expect.

Routine physical
Based on the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics, physicals performed at school consist of recording a child’s height, weight, blood pressure, and pulse. Furthermore, the physician will also examine the heart, lungs, abdomen, skin, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, and throat. The point of this is to check for any abnormalities. In some cases, the child’s reflexes, fine-motor development, and gross-motor development may also be evaluated.

Preventative screenings
These screenings are exactly what they sound like. They help to prevent serious illnesses as well as chronic diseases from developing. This is done through early detection and treatment. Chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes account for seven of every 10 deaths in the United States.

Routine examinations, blood tests, and skin tests are typically included in the screenings. Blood and skin tests check for things like high cholesterol, diabetes, lead poisoning, and tuberculosis.

Immunizations
In some states, the law requires students enrolled in Pre-K up to grade 12 to be vaccinated according to immunization guidelines. Within 30 days of enrollment, parents and guardians are required to provide proof of vaccination. Check with your child’s medical doctor to ensure they are up to date on vaccinations. Vaccination could prevent them from becoming one of the 2.5 million people who die annually from not receiving vaccinations.

Summer will be over before you know it and it will soon be time to head back to school. Consult your family doctor or visit a medical center in your area to ensure your child is ready for their school physical. Use the above information to help prepare them for what’s next to come. After all, their health and safety are most important.