What does a back-to-school physical consist of?

The physician will listen to the child’s heart and lungs, do a head-to-toe physical exam, look for any signs of common childhood diseases and assess any personal or emotional needs of the child. Yearly exams are key to tracking a child’s progress on the height and weight growth chart, as well. With childhood obesity becoming such a large program, physicians will pay extra attention to children on the higher end of the weight chart.

Once a child has hit school age, he or she typically only needs boosters of the vaccines they received in infancy and toddlerhood (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, rubella, mumps and varicella) prior to entering preschool or kindergarten. At age 11 or 12, they’ll again need boosters for most of these vaccines, as well as the HPV and/or meningitis vaccines. Lee also recommends children get their yearly influenza shot, usually available in mid- to late fall.