Why Back To School Is The Perfect Time To Visit Your Doctor


It happens every year. The days start getting shorter, retailers start decorating their display windows with autumn colors and commercials for school supplies flood the airwaves. Parents around the country gear up for trips to the mall for clothes, books and to prepare for the new school year ahead.

This is the perfect time to add an annual visit to your primary care physician to make sure that everything is up to date.

Some of us have no problem keeping track of busy schedules involving play dates, music lessons, karate school and sports but at the same time have no idea about recommended immunization schedules. Your family physician will advise you about Well-Child Visits and immunizations.

The following is a list of vaccine-preventable diseases that you can discuss with your general physician to make sure your child is up to date, Birth thru 6 years of age:

  • Chickenpox
  • Diptheria
  • Hib
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Influenza (the flu)
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis
  • Polio
  • Pneumococcal
  • Rubella
  • Tetanus

The following are immunizations recommended for children ages 7-18 years old:

  • Tdap
  • Flu
  • HPV
  • MenACWY
  • MenB
  • Pneumococcal
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis A
  • Inactivated Polio
  • MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
  • Chickenpox

Your primary care physician will be able to tell you what your child needs and when they need it. For instance, there are some vaccinations that most children should get, but they might have certain health conditions that mean they cannot safely receive a vaccine. There are vaccine-specific recommendations and your family physician will advise what is best for your child.

What are the advantages of scheduling yearly back-to-school-time visits to your family physician?

Creating a relationship

When your primary care physician gets to know you and your whole family, it creates a trustworthy bond that encourages everyone to think about their own health and welfare and to live a healthier life. When you have your doctor to answer to, it creates incentive to stay healthy.

Keeping track of health history

Your physician will have your family’s records and you’ll be able to see how much your child has grown, and also discuss milestones and any concerns you may have.


Preventing Illness

Staying on top of the immunization schedule, discussing nutrition and exercise will give you peace of mind that you are doing everything you can to keep your child healthy and active.

Other things you can discuss with your family physician are your child’s eye health, hearing screenings, behavioral problems that might be causing concern, a check for scoliosis, asthma and allergies, dental health and weight management.

If you have a budding athlete in the family, it’s good to discuss with your doctor concerns you may have about workouts and practices. Your doctor should know about any family history of heart disease or sudden death or any other conditions that might limit your child’s participation in sports or gym class.

There is a lot more about going to the see your primary care physician than just a shot in the arm. It’s about developing a trustworthy relationship so that everyone in the family stays healthy and happy!

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