Some schools require a physical exam and proof of up-to-date immunizations before children can enter certain grades or participate in sports. Check with your school district to see what's required, typically includes a well-child visit every other year for school age children. Your family's health insurance may also affect the number and timing of these visits.
Because there really isn't time to do this type of exam during an office visit when your child is sick, you should make an appointment specifically for a general health assessment.
Every checkup is an opportunity to make sure your child is up-to-date on immunizations. Ask for a copy of the immunization dates for your child - many schools require that information. Also keep an immunization record at home.
Well-child checkups can reveal problems early and reinforce healthy behavior. In addition, they establish a relationship with your child's doctor. With up-to-date information at hand, your doctor can assess your child's condition more readily. Finally, your child's trusting relationship with his or her doctor may help establish a lifelong pattern of healthy habits and appropriate utilization of medical care.
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