Friday, February 15, 2013

It's Annual Checkup Season! Don't forget Spring Sports Begin Soon!

Michelle Maloney, CPNP
From the desk of nurse practitioner Michelle Maloney:
Annual check-ups are an opportunity for parents to raise questions about your child’s growth, development, behavior etc. More time is taken during a well exam to discuss these issues which can’t be accommodated during a sick visit.  Many of the topics discussed included are sleep issues, behavior, learning problems, and toilet training, just to name a few.  Annual check-ups allow you, your child, and your MD/NP a chance to get to know each other for a relationship that will extend for many years.

To prepare for your visit, you may want to write down 3-5 questions that you want to discuss at the visit. Along with obtaining your child’s height, weight, and blood pressure, we at PHA will discuss your child’s diet, sleep issues, safety in and around the home such as car seat/seatbelt use, helmet use, if there are guns in the home, and sunscreen use among others.

Well check ups also give teenagers a chance to discuss some health issues with their health care providers in confidence that they may feel embarrassed to discuss in front of their parents.

Sports Physicals also known as Pre-participation physicals provided by your child’s primary pediatrician/NP are important because we have all you your child’s health history at our finger tips. If a concern should arise during the visit, we can coordinate a visit with a specialist if necessary in order to clear your child to play in the upcoming season.  An urgent care or quick care clinic can’t do this. If they discover something that needs further evaluation, they will send you back to us for that evaluation. This will delay your child’s readiness to start the season.

Ideally, you should schedule your sports PE 6-8 weeks prior to the start of the season to allow for any follow-up that may be necessary for your child to be cleared to play.

Whether it’s for an annual exam or a pre-participation sports physical, it’s a great idea to schedule these visits before the “summer rush”.  A good rule of thumb is to schedule a physical a few days after a birthday, it’s a good way to remember a check-up is due!

Physicals are valid for one year.


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