As a parent, one of the most important things you can do for your child or teen’s overall wellness and development is to schedule an annual medical exam. These exams not only evaluate the physical health of your son or daughter, but also provide you with insight into age-appropriate behavior, growth and development. Learn 10 things to expect at your child or teen’s annual exam!
1. Measure Height and Weight
One of the first things your health care provider will likely do when beginning your child or teen’s annual exam is take their height and weight. These numbers will show whether they are in a healthy weight range for their height.
2. Check Vital Signs
The health care provider will check the vital signs of your child or teen, which include their heart rate, blood pressure and temperature. Knowing their vital signs will help alert the provider of any new medical issues or relieve any previous concerns.
3. Ensure Vaccinations are Up-to-Date
Before the school year begins, schools require that all children and teens are current on their immunizations. Immunization records can be obtained from your provider, and likely need to be shared with the school nurse or office for the student’s file. Learn what the recommended immunization schedules are based on age.
4. Preventative Screening
Annual physical exams give providers the chance to check your child or teen for potential illnesses and diseases. In the circumstance of any abnormalities or potential problems, they will discuss next steps and treatment with you. Additionally, preventative screenings offer the health care provider an opportunity to discuss overall safety and age-appropriate topics such as helmet safety, smoking, etc.
5. Overview of Family History
Reviewing your child or teen’s family history with your health care provider during the annual exam is important for detecting chronic illnesses and diseases that may run in your family. By having this discussion early on, it may prevent potential illnesses or lead to early detection and treatment. Coming prepared is highly recommended.
6. Review Diet and Exercise
Discussing your child or teen’s diet and exercise habits is to be expected, especially if they are involved in sports activities. When assessing a young athlete, the provider will have the opportunity to discuss sport-specific topics such as muscle development, exercise programs, nutrition and healthy training guidelines.
7. Discuss Development and Learning
A healthy mind is just as crucial as a healthy body. Therefore, the health care provider will assess your child or teen’s intellectual and behavioral development. Language and motor skills will also be assessed, and teens may be asked additional questions regarding depression, sexual activity, eating disorders, etc.
8. Inquire About Social Behaviors
Certain social behaviors and potential learning disabilities can be difficult to define or understand as a parent. If you feel that your child is having difficulty learning or coping with social situations, come to your child or teen’s annual exam prepared with questions for the provider. They will speak with your son or daughter, assess behaviors and discuss the best options moving forward.
9. Routine Physical
Physical exams vary from provider to provider and are dependent on the age of the patient. In general, you can expect the health care provider will complete a comprehensive check of your child or teen’s body to ensure they are physically maturing and developing properly. The provider may test their flexibility, strength and reflexes.
10. Preparation for a Healthy Future
An annual exam is an ideal time for parents to inquire about their child or teen’s growth and development. Coming prepared with a list of questions for the provider is a great way to make sure all topics are covered and any concerns are discussed. This gives parents the opportunity to learn how they can best nurture their child or teen’s future development.
Don’t Wait, Schedule an Appointment Today!
Greene County Medical Center is dedicated to promoting health and wellness at every age. Whether you’re in need of a back-to-school physical, sports physical, immunizations or orthodontic care, Greene County Medical Center has you covered. Read more about the wide range of services available for children and teens in our community, and schedule an appointment for your son or daughter’s annual exam today!