As kids go back to school, it’s a time to take inventory and make sure their exams and vaccinations are current. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends an annual well-child check beginning at age three and continuing through the teenage years. At Telluride Regional Medical Center, we do well-child checks through age 17. After that, we transition patients to an annual physical or routine check-up that should occur through adulthood.

It’s important for kids to have regular well checks and a space where they can discuss any worries or questions they have about their physical and mental health. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many children fell behind on their well visits and routine vaccines, so now is the time to ensure your children are all caught up! During these appointments, we measure growth and development while assessing physical and emotional well-being. We also check previous immunization records (and recommend any that are due), check vision and hearing, and address any other concerns from parents or the children.

It’s easy for kids and parents alike to get busy and not notice small warning signs before they get bigger. We provide another set of eyes to make sure that everything is normal – and if things aren’t normal, we come up with a plan.

As you schedule your annual well checks, the only change from previous years is that now we also screen everyone for COVID symptoms. If you have even mild symptoms, please consider delaying your visit. We also recommend including a COVID vaccination for your children and a booster for all kids aged six months and older.

For kids that are on their way to college, be aware that most colleges and universities require a health clearance form and vaccination record. We can fill that out at your annual physical visit. College is a big step. We are here for support from the medical and emotional side.

Transitioning from summer vacation back to school can be rough. Give your family and yourself grace, take the necessary time to adjust and have patience with each other. Eating healthy, hydrating, getting good rest and having some playtime outside can be helpful for all of us, regardless of your age!

To schedule well-checks for yourself or your children, click here.

Emily McGough is a family nurse practitioner at Telluride Regional Medical Center.