What To Expect During a School Physical

Here’s what you need to know about school physicals and your child.

Whether your child is about to start school or just another school year, it’s important that you start the year out on a healthy note. This means visiting our Saginaw, MI, pediatrician Dr. Gayatri Shanker for a school physical. School physicals are important, as they allow Dr. Shanker and her team to continue monitoring your child’s health and to make sure that they are healthy enough for physical activity (whether they plan to play sports or simply participate in physical education). Here’s what to expect from your child’s sports physical.

Reviewing Your Medical History 

Since genetics play a key role in the development of certain health problems, it’s important to know the details of your child’s medical history including a family history of certain chronic conditions including heart disease, asthma and high blood pressure. 

By understanding your child’s genetic makeup and medical history, our pediatric team can provide a thorough and tailored school physical to assess your child’s risk for developing these health problems in the future. With preventable conditions, we can help your child reduce their risk by helping them make certain lifestyle changes now.  

Checking Height, Weight and Vital Signs 

When you come into the office we will also record your child’s height and weight, as well as their heart rate, temperature and blood pressure. Nearly one in every three children or teens in the US is overweight or obese, which can have a serious impact on your child’s health. From hypertension (high blood pressure) to high cholesterol, these issues need to be monitored. We can also provide you and your child with tips for how to get regular exercise and improve their diet to help them maintain a healthy body weight. 

Performing a Physical Exam 

The main purpose of a school physical is for our Saginaw, MI, pediatrician to be able to examine all parts and areas of your child’s body to be able to check for past injuries, issues, symptoms, developmental problems or abnormalities. Since many kids are undergoing physicals to participate in sports, we will also want to make sure that they are healthy enough for their chosen sport and that certain conditions such as asthma are being properly managed through medication to prevent complications and issues from arising. 

Administering Immunizations 

Children and teens will also need to follow a strict immunization schedule. Michigan law states that there are certain vaccines that children and teens will have to get before they can go to school. Check Michigan's vaccine requirements and make sure that your child is up to date before the school year begins. 

Dr. Shanker has dedicated more than two decades to providing a patient-first pediatric practice in Saginaw, MI. If you need to schedule a school physical for your child, or you have questions about these physicals, call Caring Pediatric Partners at (989) 793-1095.

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