Now that we have arrived the middle of August, and summer is drawing to a close. Families are planning the seasons last trips to the coast at Brookings in Southern Oregon or Crescent City in Northern California or maybe it is camping along the to the Rogue River. This is also the beginning of annual preparations for the return to school for many families. Between purchasing new clothes, shoes, technology, or other staples such as pencils and erasers, scheduling your child for a wellness exam may be neglected.
Many individuals ask what is the benefit of scheduling an appointment with your child’s primary care provider if they are not ill. This is a good time to develop a rapport with your child’s provider, as wellness exams may be given a longer visit length than problem focused visits.
1) This is a good time to ask questions of your child’s pediatric provider about educational or developmental assessment, if you, your child or their teachers have had concerns. This is also a good time to initiate new therapies to help ease the transition from summer break to school. Wellness visits are also time to ask questions or obtain information, below are 5 things you can ask your provider at your child’s next wellness exam include.
2) Through the course of a wellness exam your child’s fitness for sports participation and relevant forms filled out. It is important for your child to be healthy to participate in sports. Additionally, this is time where preventative therapies for injury prevention can be shared to ensure that your child has a healthy and injury free sports season.
3) Take time to update your child’s family medical history if parents, grandparents or sibling have received new medical diagnoses’ in the past year. This ensures that your child has the appropriate and relevant screening tests or interventions if there is a predisposition for heritable conditions in your family.
4) Vaccinations for school age children. The CDC recommends a booster for measles, mumps rubella. There is also a 3 dose vaccine gardasil, Hepatitis B for children who did not receive the vaccination series during the first year of life, and a booster for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis vaccine. For resources on the current rates of vaccine preventable diseases in the state of Oregon click on the link.
5) Talking about sex and drugs may be difficult to initiate at home. Your child’s physician can be used as a resource for accurate information about risks associated with these behaviors as well as ways to address concerns if they are present.
Dr Amanda Hochman