Even though it feels like summer just started, now is the perfect time to schedule a back-to-school well-child check. We often have more appointments available in July and August, and it saves you the anxiety of trying to get one more thing done before school starts or the first day of practice. And getting it out of the way now means you will be covered for the entire school year.

While they are often called “sports physicals,” each appointment actually is a complete well- child check. However, if your child or adolescent participates in organized athletics at school, we also use the opportunity to complete the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) paperwork required by the school.

During this exam, here are some things we discuss, measure, evaluate, and assess:

  • Physical growth and development, including musculoskeletal alignment and strength and a review of previous injuries, including concussions
  • Emotional health, including specific screenings for depression and anxiety
  • Social health, including lifestyle safety habits and risk factors
  • Immunization status
  • Questions or concerns raised by the guardian, child or adolescent.

It’s amazing how much a young person can change physically and emotionally in just a few short months as they mature from a child into an adolescent. This growth spurt can often bring changes in attitude and behavior. That’s why, in alignment with the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations, we also take the opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with the adolescent without the parent or guardian present. This provides a safe space for them to ask any sensitive questions and helps them start developing the life skill of being able to communicate personally and directly with a medical professional.

If CHSAA paperwork is required, you can help us by bringing the completed health history form (Spanish) you to the appointment. (We’ll provide the exam and authorization paperwork!) Please remember that the form is only valid for a year from the date of the last well-child exam. For example, if the child had a well-child check in January, we can complete the CHSAA paperwork now, which would be valid for only the fall sports activities season. Then, the child or adolescent would need another well-child exam and a new form completed for winter and spring activities.

Please know that well-child check appointments are intended to be focused on ensuring appropriate, healthful growth and development. If you have a specific, acute concern about your child or adolescent, please call us to make an appointment for that specific concern. Doing so will allow us to dedicate the appropriate time and attention to you and your child during each appointment.

Beat the fall rush. Call us at 970-728-3848, option 3 so we can schedule your child for a well-child exam this summer.