Pine Belt pediatricians say it’s time for back-to-school checkups
HATTIESBURG Miss. (WDAM) - Parents know that going back to school usually means getting new school supplies like notebooks and pencils, but what about a checkup?
“When it’s time to go back to school, it’s also time to go back to the doctor,” said Dr. Victoria Sivils, a pediatrician at Hattiesburg Clinic.
As parents check items off their child’s school supply list, pediatricians want to remind parents not to forget about wellness exams.
“The biggest thing a well-child visit is, of course, an exam,” Sivils said. “Of course, it’s catching kids up on their vaccines that they’re due for, but it’s also addressing any concerns that the child is having about their own health and also that parents are having about their children.”
Sivils said back-to-school checkups allow doctors to look for new things that might make learning a little more challenging.
“We’re going to talk about how school’s going,” Sivils said. “Are we having any struggles in particular subjects? Do we need to do any testing for dyslexia or things that have yet to be identified?”
But, it’s not just about checking for learning inhibitors.
“We’re also going to check for vision and hearing at certain visits to make sure that won’t cause any problems in the classroom or in sports at school,” Sivils said.
Even if your kids don’t play sports, Sivils said a thorough physical exam is still important to a child’s overall health.
“Even kids that don’t participate in sports still need a yearly physical to make sure they haven’t developed any heart murmur or any other things that we can identify on exam that might need some work up before we let them go and run around the playground,” she said.
Sivils recommends children get wellness exams at least once a year, starting at four years old.
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