Doctors stress importance of back-to-school physicals - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Doctors stress importance of back-to-school physicals

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

School starts next week for most in the Midstate. But before your child hits the books, you'll want to check in with the doctor.

Pediatricians say back-to-school physicals or wellness checkups are key because they often identify issues you may not know about, such as poor eyesight or hearing loss.

"Be sure they're able to hear and not having any problems as a result of that. And obviously, if they're having problems with hearing, that's going to affect their school performance," said Dr. Joseph Gigante, a pediatrician at Vanderbilt.

Doctors say that sports physicals help identify issues that may put your child at risk for serious injuries if they play.

Beyond sports, the checkups help give the full understanding of your child's health and give doctors a chance to check how current issues are being managed like allergies or a chronic disease.

"Using the asthma as an example: We make sure the medicines that they're on are appropriate and controlling their asthma well. And if that's the case, that's great. On the other hand, if the child's not doing well and struggling and having some breathing difficulties, we can make some adjustments to their medicines to make them feel better," Gigante said.

Kids enrolling in school for the first time and all students going into seventh grade are required to have certain immunizations. Click here for more information.

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