Scheduling your child’s physical is the best way to take a proactive approach to their health. During a physical, our pediatricians have the opportunity to monitor your child’s growth and development over the years. By staying up-to-date with your child's physicals, you'll be able to keep up with their vaccinations during their younger years, and can oversee any problematic health issues as they get older. Our practice provides physicals for an assortment of reasons, whether it’s the start of the new school year, or they're prepping for the upcoming sports season.
Physicals Offered at Pediatrics of Northeastern Pennsylvania
During a school physical, your child’s pediatrician will have an opportunity to examine year-over-year changes and progress. The younger years are more heavily focused on developmental progress and vaccinations, while adolescent years tend to be more focused on psychological and physical changes. This exam for teens gives them a chance to ask any questions relating to adolescent issues such as drinking, smoking, drugs, sexual activity, and depression.
Sports physicals are largely required by athletic leagues and schools. During this exam, the pediatrician will check your child’s vitals, joints, flexibility, and vision. This gives them an opportunity to flag down any issues that may cause injury during the season. Sports physicals should be given at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the upcoming sports season, giving the child ample time to correct any issues before the season. While a sports physical and an annual school physical have a lot in common, the sports physical does not include evaluation of the overall health of your child. Therefore, a sports physical should not replace a school physical.
Also commonly referred to as a pre-participation physical, a camp physical ensures that your child can safely participate in activities. A physical may not always be required prior to your child going off to camp, but it’s still a great way to stay on top of their health. Please note that a camp physical should not replace a school physical.
Prior to obtaining their driver’s license, your teen will need to be seen by their pediatrician for a physical. During this exam, the doctor will test for any cognitive, behavioral, physical, or visual challenges that may require further assistance before gaining driving independence.
How Often Does My Child Need a Physical Exam
- For Infants (less than 1 year old): We see all infants at 2 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months and 1 year. Please refer to our Immunization Schedule for more information.
- For Toddlers (1-3 years old): Your toddler needs a physical at 18 months, 2 years and 3 years old. Please refer to our Immunization Schedule for more information.
- For Preschool Age Children (4-5 years old): All children need to have their 4/5 year old vaccines before starting kindergarten. Before starting 1st grade, most schools require the child’s first official physical exam.
- For School Age Children (6-11 years old): After starting school, your child only needs a physical every two years.
- For Teenagers (12-17 years old): If your teenager is not participating in school sports, they need a physical every two years. If they are participating in school sports, they need a yearly physical.
Schedule Your Child’s Physical Today
Whether it’s for school, sports, camp, or driving, physical exams play a vital role in monitoring your child’s health, growth, and development. To schedule your child’s physical with one of our pediatricians, please call Pediatrics of Northeastern Pennsylvania at (570) 346-1464.