Does My Teenager Need a Physical Before School Starts?

Does My Teenager Need a Physical Before School Starts?

It’s August here in San Jose, California, which means the back-to-school season is officially here. And while you’re no doubt in the midst of preparing for your teenager's upcoming academic year, you may wonder if you need to add “schedule a physical” to your to-do list.

Scheduling a physical before school starts can provide numerous benefits for your teenager's health, well-being, and academic success. Drs. Ines Munoz De Laborde and Svetlana Burkhead provide a variety of physicals, including school physicals and sports physicals, here at Physicians Medical Urgent Care.

Let’s dive into this question 一 “Does my teenager need a physical before school starts?” 一 below. 

Why you should schedule a physical for your teenager

While you may not necessarily be required to schedule a physical (depending on where your teen goes to school), there are many reasons to schedule one before the school year starts.

A back-to-school physical can:

Help assess your teen’s overall health

During your teenager’s physical, our team assesses their overall health. During the examination, Dr. Munoz De Laborde or Dr. Burkhead evaluate their vital signs, review personal and family medical history, and conduct a thorough physical examination. This comprehensive assessment can identify any underlying health issues, detect potential risk factors, and address existing medical concerns. Early detection and management of health conditions, such as asthma or allergies, can ensure that your teenager is in optimal health for the school year.

Establish a baseline to monitor growth and development

Adolescence is a period characterized by significant growth and development. A physical examination offers an opportunity to monitor your teenager's growth patterns, including height, weight, and body mass index (BMI). This information allows our team to track your teenager's development, identify any abnormalities, and provide guidance on proper nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle choices. Regular monitoring ensures that your teenager's growth progresses in a healthy and appropriate manner.

Ensuring vaccination compliance 

The state of California has vaccination requirements in place for students in kindergarten all the way through high school, and your teen’s physical provides the perfect opportunity to ensure they’re up-to-date with their vaccines.

Missing or incomplete vaccinations can put your teenager at risk of contracting preventable diseases and may hinder their ability to attend school. A physical examination can help identify any necessary vaccinations and ensure that your teenager receives the appropriate immunizations.

Address mental and emotional concerns

The teenage years can be emotionally challenging, and mental health concerns aren’t uncommon. For example, an estimated 32% of teenagers struggle with anxiety. A back-to-school physical allows your teenager to address any mental and emotional concerns. 

Our compassionate team discusses any concerns your teenager may have, evaluates their overall mental health, and provides appropriate support or referrals if needed. Addressing mental health issues early on can promote emotional well-being, resilience, and academic success.

Prepare for sports participation

If your teenager plans to participate in school sports or physical activities, a physical is often required. These examinations ensure that your teenager is fit to engage in physical activities and can detect any underlying conditions that may impact their performance or safety. The physical evaluation may include assessing cardiovascular health, joint mobility, and evaluating for any conditions that require special considerations during sports participation.

Get ready for school

While a physical for teenagers isn’t always mandatory, it offers numerous benefits for their health, well-being, and academic success. We know that there’s a lot to do when your teenager is preparing to head back to school, but getting a physical shouldn’t be a complicated part of the process.

We make it easy: call us at 408-207-4637, schedule an appointment through our online form, or simply walk in to our Capitol Avenue office.


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