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What To Expect From Your Child’s Back-To-School Physical Exam

Updated: May 26, 2023

When fall is in the air, and you are busy picking out backpacks and bows, don’t forget the back-to-school physical exam! It’s the first test your kiddos have to pass for school, and with a little bit of reverse psychology and hints at rewards, your child’s back-to-school physical exam can go off without a hitch.

Our knowledgeable physicians at Crimson Care will cover the basics of a back-to-school physical exam so that you can feel confident and prepared for this simple doctor’s visit.

What is a back-to-school physical exam?

A back-to-school physical exam is essential to gauge your child’s overall health. Growing children change so dramatically from year to year, so it’s important to ensure that they grow healthily and appropriately according to other children their age.

A back-to-school physical exam is also sometimes called a well-child visit or a yearly check-up, just to avoid confusion!

What happens during a back-to-school physical exam?

Your child's age will dictate what type of tests need to be performed at the physical. Sometimes a blood draw is required to rule out certain conditions, and other times finger pricks are appropriate for blood testing. In general, these three components make up a back-to-school physical exam:

1. Physical Check-Up

Often, the doctor begins by checking out the child's physical attributes. This will include measuring height and weight, and then checking lymph nodes, eyes, nose, and throat. The doctor will also check muscles, coordination, and joints to ensure no abnormalities. It’s all painless, and the nurse or doctor will tell your child what they’re doing all along the way.

2. Medications & Vaccinations

The doctor will review any medicines taken by your child, ask questions, and ensure the proper dosages are still appropriate. A crucial part of a physical exam is ensuring your child is up to speed on the appropriate vaccinations for their age. Yes - this could mean a shot. Fortunately, this part is over quickly, and good doctors and nurses, such as the clinicians at Crimson Care, are known for their compassion and distraction techniques when giving injections! (The promise of an ice cream cone afterward by Mom or Dad doesn’t hurt, either.)

3. Preventative Care

The doctor and nurse will most likely speak with you about preventative care. Depending on the age of the child, the doctor will talk about proactive health hygiene, such as proper hand-washing, covering their mouth when they sneeze, and more.

How do you prepare for a back-to-school physical?

If you’re going to a place that does walk-in physicals (such as Crimson Care, with convenient locations near you), you’ll want to bring the child’s past medical records and vaccine history so that the doctor can compare them to this year’s results. Sometimes particular school forms must be signed by a doctor, such as for athletic teams or activities, so bringing that form and having it signed on-site is a great time saver for you.

Preparing your child for their annual wellness exam is critical since we want them to view it as a normal experience, not something to be afraid of. Most exams, from start to finish, only last 30 minutes, so ensure your child knows it will be over quickly. Also, reassure them that the clinicians are knowledgeable and kind, making every effort to make their patients feel safe and comfortable.

And speaking of physicals, Mom and Dad, when’s the last time you had your physical? You might want to go ahead and do it while you’re there!

Back-To-School Physical Exams in Tuscaloosa, Alabama

If you are looking for where to get a physical exam for school in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a walk-in clinic is just what you need. You can trust the experienced physicians at Crimson Care. We are equipped to meet your back-to-school physical exam needs with compassionate and comprehensive exam services.



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