Friday, February 21, 2014

There are new vaccine requirements for the 2014-2015 school year. Schedule your school and sports physicals now to avoid the rush!.

Welcome to Pediatric Health Associates!
Did you know that you do not have to wait until the hectic summer is here to get your child's yearly physical?   School and sports physicals are valid for 1 year from the date they are completed.   This means at any point your child can be seen for their kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade checkup and get their school forms completed.
 
Checkups are not only a time to approve school and sports exams--- they are far more-- following up on past development and growth issues, as well as re-assessing any ongoing medical issues that your child may have.  Further, if specialty referrals are needed, we will arrange at the time of your visit the best specialist for your child's problem.
 
You may be wondering what the benefit is of having your primary care provider do your physical versus having one of the retail clinics attached to a pharmacy complete your physical? First, your primary care office has a history of your child’s vaccines. This way, no vaccines are repeated or missed. This avoid any unnecessary costs for you.   Secondly, our office has your child’s full medical history. We have information on past illnesses, visits to specialists, medications and lab work. Lastly, a new benefit of having our office complete your yearly physical will be our patient portal which is coming shortly!  The patient portal is a secure web based system that allows parents to access their child’s physical forms without having to contact the office. The form will be available and printable at all times making it so convenient for you.   No more running over to the office to get a copy! 
 
School physical forms are mandatory for kindergarten, sixth grade and freshman year of high school. Forms will also be needed whenever a child changes to a new school or district. If your child is an athlete, sports physicals are needed annually from 6th grade to senior year.
 

Also required for kindergarten will be a dental exam and an eye exam (with coinciding forms). This will need to be completed outside of our office and we advise checking with your insurance for coverage options.

   
Another important part of yearly well exams are needed vaccines. Certain vaccines are required for school admission (these requirements can be accessed at www.ilga.gov).  Vaccine requirements have changed for the coming school year. Changes include:
1.                  Two Varicella vaccines for any child entering kindergarten, 6th grade or ninth grade. (previous requirement was 1 Varicella vaccine)
2.                  All students entering 6th-12th grades will be required to show proof of one dose of Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis).
3.                  Proposed requirement for 6th and 12th grade entry will be the Meningoccal conjugate vaccine (MCV4). For 6th graders, they must show proof of receiving one dose on or after 11 years of age. For 12th graders they must show proof of receiving two doses of MCV4 and the second dose must be when they were over 16yrs old.
 
Appointment slots fill up very quickly during the summer months. We are conveniently open seven days a week at the Naperville office and 6 days a week in the Plainfield and West Chicago offices.   Our Bolingbrook office will be expanding hours in April when we move to our new suite in the professional building next to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital!   Give us a call at 630-717-2300.  See you soon!
 
References:

http://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/The-AAP-Advises-Parents-Against-Using-Retail-Based-Clinics.aspx

                                                                                                            ---by Kim Gubbins, CPNP

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