Health & Wellness

Back to School and the Doctor – Southwest Health

It seems impossible, but a new school year is quickly approaching. While school supply shopping and new tennis shoes may be on your list before September, consider adding an annual visit to your back-to-school to-do list.

Back-to-school check-ups, as they are commonly called, are often the only visit kids and teenagers have with their providers every year. The annual physical gives the provider a chance to give your child a thorough physical exam that addresses any emotional, developmental, or social concerns. In addition to monitoring heart and blood pressure and testing for diabetes, your child’s doctor will use an annual exam to discuss diet, and exercise options, provide vision screenings, and test for cholesterol and anemia.

What’s the advantage of getting an annual check-up? By visiting with a provider at least once a year, your child is slowly building a baseline for their health. Their provider will be able to establish milestones better and see any potential red flags that may come up because they have a concrete medical history with your child. Your child’s provider will measure height and weight, discuss growth in terms of percentiles and how your child compares to prior visits, and check vital signs, including blood pressure, pulse, and heart rate.

To read this and other premium articles in their entirety, pick up a copy of Julien’s Journal magazine. Click to subscribe for convenient delivery by mail, or call (563) 557-7571. Single issues are available in print at area newsstands and digitally on

Comment here