School physicals are important to ensure children are growing in a healthy manner, both physically and mentally. The physical exam is an important tool to check for any physical issue that may need treatment.
Illinois requires school physicals for children in daycares, preschool, kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade. Weight and height are measured to ensure appropriate growth and to screen for obesity. If risk factors are present, a fasting blood sugar may be done to rule out diabetes.
During a school physical, the physician or an advanced practice nurse checks to make sure developmental milestones are being met. Preschool and kindergarten physicals make sure that the child is normal neurologically and does not need speech or other therapies. Preschool children may also require a lead screening test in certain counties depending on the risk of lead poisoning in their community.
Immunizations are recommended for children at the following ages:
Kindergarten: DTaP-diptheria, tetanus and pertussis; IPV-polio; MMR-measles, mumps and rubella; and varicella-chicken pox
Sixth grade: TDaP-tetanus booster, diphteria booster and pertussis booster; Menactra- meningitis; Gardasil-human papilloma (virus that can cause cervical cancer, a series of three shots)
Ninth grade: Menactra-meningitis booster given at age 16-18
During the adolescent exam, patients are screened for depression, STDs and problems dealing with puberty. School physicals are also a great time to discuss questions regarding diet, behavior and other topics.
If you need a primary care physician, request a new patient appointment today.