Monday, January 16, 2012

Now is the perfect time to schedule your child's yearly physical

Kim Gubbins
Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Want to beat the rush?   Now is the best time to get your child’s physical/annual checkup completed!  Why wait until the summer ‘check-up’ crowd.  Scheduling it now gives you the opportunity to schedule an appointment when it's convenient for you.

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.

1 comment:

physical therapist schools said...

This is a good common sense article. Very helpful to one who is just finding the resources about this part. It will certainly help educate me.