The first day back of school is just around the corner, and the time to schedule yearly physical exams and vaccinations has arrived.
The yearly exam for children beginning kindergarten serves as a more formal screen, as their physician administers developmental checks to ensure the child is ready to begin school on a physical, emotional and academic level.
Yearly exams are also important for older children, to clear them for sports participation, as well as check for any developing health conditions, such as scoliosis or changes in vision. Upcoming kindergarteners must also get their state-required vaccinations before starting school, including their measles, chicken pox, polio and DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus vaccine) shots.
At age 11, kids must get a pertussis booster, known as the TDaP vaccine. Along with the TDaP, it is also recommended for kids (aged 11-12 years) to get their first meningococcal vaccination, which protects against a dangerous bacteria that spreads in groups, and the Gardasil vaccine to protect against the HPV virus, which can cause cervical cancer in women.
Yearly physical exams and vaccinations not only protect the health of your child, but also the health of others around them. Be sure to schedule an appointment with your child’s physician to help ensure a safe, enjoyable and educational school year for your children.
Fortunately, Cone Health has an exceptional network of pediatricians, family medicine specialists and other related healthcare professionals dedicated to making sure children in the community are healthy and ready to start school.
Dr. Ron Young is a pediatrician at Piedmont Pediatrics and a member of the Cone Health Medical Staff. Dr. Young is a 1983 medical school graduate of the University of Paris. He completed his residency in Pediatrics at State University of New York Downstate.