What Is a School Physical?

Find out why all children need a back-to-school physical.

It might be hard to think of back-to-school physicals right now, but before you know it, summer will be flying by, and you’ll be getting your kids ready for another school year. Don’t forget about your child’s school physical, especially since these physicals book up quickly with our Westchase, FL, pediatricians.

What is a school physical? 

Sometimes referred to as a pre-participation physical examination (PPE), this simple checkup is essential for evaluating your child’s health as a whole and pinpointing any potential issues they may have, such as changes in vision or other health problems that could impact their ability to participate in school or certain activities including physical activity.

But my child goes in once a year for a doctor’s checkup. Isn’t that enough? 

While it’s important for your child to see their doctor at least once a year (or more often, depending on their age), this won’t take the place of this physical. A back-to-school physical is explicitly focused on the parts of their health. If your child is going to play sports, they must undergo a comprehensive school physical with our Westchase, FL, pediatrician.

What happens during a school physical? 

Several things will occur during your child’s checkup. First, our nurses will come in to check their vital signs (e.g., heart rate; blood pressure) and record their height and weight. 

After this, your doctor will go through your child’s medical history. It’s important to document any past illnesses, hospitalizations, surgeries, injuries, or current symptoms they are experiencing (e.g., abdominal pain; wheezing). Any information you provide can help our doctor identify possible problems that may require treatment.

Lastly, our pediatrician will perform your child’s physical exam. During this exam, every area of the body is thoroughly examined, from head to toe, to make sure everything is healthy and functioning correctly. We will listen to the heart and lungs, check your child’s reflexes, examine their posture, test their reflexes, and check everything we need to protect your child from potential health problems.

Don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your child’s school physical. All it takes is a quick call to our Clearwater or Westchase, FL, office. Call Clearwater Pediatric Care at (727) 461-1543 or (813) 818-1543 today.

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