Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and PHA recommend that all children have an annual well child exam even if a physical form is not needed for sports or school that particular year. This visit will include a history of what is going on in the child's life, developmental screening (autism screening at 18 and 24 months), a physical examination, possible laboratory tests (such as hemoglobin, lead, cholesterol or a urinalysis) or vaccinations. There will also be a discussion about health and safety issues including: anticipatory guidance, prevention, nutrition, exercise habits, sex, alcohol and drugs.
Here's what you can expect during the head to toe physical exam:
• Height, weight, head circumference (only for children under 2 years old) and blood pressure checks (for children over 3 years of age)
• Head, eyes, ears, mouth, teeth and throat examination.
• Neck exam: check for swollen lymph nodes or an enlarged thyroid gland.
• Abdominal exam: check for problems with the spleen, liver and kidneys.
• A stethoscope with be placed on the child's chest and back to assess respiration and listen to the heart.
• Posture is checked to detect if there is any abnormality of the spine or progressive curvature of the spine, such as scoliosis.
• The pediatrician will test muscle strength and reflexes
• Both girls and boys will have their breasts examined.
• Possibly a full-body skin inspection, checking for acne, eczema and suspicious looking moles.
• Lastly, the provider will inspect the genitals.
Don’t forget to ask for a copy of your physical form. These can be easily generated from our electronic medical records system.