Beat the Rush! Schedule Back-to-School Physicals and Immunizations

For most people, the summer months fly by much too fast. This always feels somewhat counterintuitive because most of us think about summer being a time of more leisure. Although when you factor in play dates, sporting practice and games, and endless trips back and forth to the lake or pool, it might be easy to figure out how the leisure got lost along the way.

No matter how busy things get, there’s always the chance you’re not quite ready to shift back into the structure of back-to-school mode just yet. This is particularly true as the sunlight continues to stretch long into the evening and the invitations for barbecues and pool parties continue to arrive. However, all good things must soon wind down.

Signs of Back to School

Before many of us (adults and children) are ready, signals of the summer’s end start to appear in form of back-to-school displays and the appearance of long-sleeve shirts and jeans in the stores. Like it or not, summer is winding down, and it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming school year. The shift from leisure and spontaneous activities to schedules and planning can catch even the most organized parents off guard.

Making a List

The end of summer is the perfect time to start preparing children for the beginning of a new school year and the start of organized fall sports. Depending on how active your child, this could mean a visit to the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor to clearup a stubborn case of swimmer’s ear, scheduling a physical for participation in fall sports, or a general check-up to assess a child’s existing health and updating immunizations.

Visits to check on the conditions of the ears, nose and throat and the rest of the body are important because of the rapid growth and changes a child’s body goes through in a short time. The summer may seem like just a couple of months, but the changes that can occur during that time can be significant. An ENT is able to assess any issues in the head, face and neck such as allergies, hearing impairment, or ringing in the ears. A physical exam and immunization updates, conducted by a primary care physician or nurse practitioner, assess for existing diseases or injuries that could make playing a sport harmful.

During the requisite physical exam, the primary care physician or nurse practitioner will also inquire into a student’s family history and conduct tests to ensure the student is in good physical condition to undertake regular exercise. Ideally, it’s smart to schedule a sport physical 6 to 8 weeks prior to the first practice of the season. Physicians recommend scheduling even earlier if the student needs to recover from any prior conditions like sprains and strains. It also allows a window for a follow-up visit prior to the first practice.

Highlights of a Physical Exam

  • Measure height and weight
  • Take blood pressure
  • Check to heart and lungs
  • Test muscle and tendon flexibility and strength
  • Look into ears, nose and throat (ENT’s treat more complex issues.)
  • Feel for tenderness in the stomach
  • Record personal and family history, activity levels, and lifestyle choices

At Aspen Mountain Medical Center, our simple mission is to serve the residents of southwest Wyoming, providing the best access to multiple specialties from a home base of Rock Springs. Our 14 unique specialty offerings include anesthesiology, family medicine, gastroenterology, general surgery, and gynecology, internal medicine, interventional radiology, orthopaedic, otolaryngology (ENT), pain management, pediatrics, podiatry and spine. Talk to your healthcare provider about scheduling a procedure at Aspen Mountain Medical Center, providing affordable and high-quality healthcare close to home.