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Well-Child Visits Take Place of Athletic Physicals

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Well-Child Visits Take Place of Athletic Physicals

Now is the time to get your regular check-up for a child under the age of 18. The regular check-up is often referred to as a “well-child visit.” These visits help ensure that infants, children and teens are getting the proper care they need to stay healthy. They give the doctor, parents and child an opportunity to talk about nutrition, safety, immunizations and many important age-appropriate topics.

A well-child exam also fulfills the requirements of an athletic physical, also referred as a “back to school exam”. This year, Myrtue will not schedule a block of visits specifically for athletic physicals. Instead, parents should call to schedule a well-child visit for their adolescent or teen at a time that works with their schedule. This will meet the athletic physical requirements for participation in 7-12 grade school activities.

Well-child exams will be filed with insurance and you can have one wellness check per year. Many plans pay 100% for a wellness exam. Check with your insurance company, if you have any questions.

“Many parents don’t know that a well-child exam will qualify as an athletic physical,” said Dr. Sarah Devine, pediatrician at Myrtue Medical Center. “Just bring the required athletic physical paperwork, and we will complete the form for you. The athletic physical lasts for 13 months.”

Schedule your appointment

To schedule your well-child exam, which includes the athletic physical, please call 1-833-662-2273 or the local number at 755-4516. The Iowa Athletic Pre-Participation Physical Examination form can be found on website under the tab Patients + Visitors | Authorization & Release Form | Iowa Athletic Pre-Participation Physical Examination.

Does a well-child visit count as an athletic physical?

Yes, an athletic physical exam is part of the well-child visit and is known as a pre-participation physical examination. The exam helps determine whether it is safe for a child to participate in a particular sport. The sports physical focuses on your well-being as it relates to playing a sport. A well-child exam is much more comprehensive and includes reviewing immunization records, discussions about behaviors, school issues and proper nutrition with the child.

How does a well-child check benefit my school-age child?

As your child grows, his or her body is going through a lot. It is important to monitor these changes closely to know if the development is happening at a normal rate. Growth patterns tend to change as children enter the pre-pubescent/adolescent stage of life. The wellness exam gives the practitioner a chance to provide the child with a thorough physical exam that also addresses any emotional, developmental, or social concerns. Well-child checks continue to be beneficial in providing education to middle schoolers and high schoolers, and their parents, on these changes and any challenges that may be present.

This annual visit provides an opportunity to discuss diet, exercise options, provide vision screenings, and additional testing. It is also a good chance to address important questions or concerns you have as a parent, especially with teenagers, including adolescent issues of substance use such as drinking, smoking and depression.

Routine Immunization

“Immunization rates are down across the state due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic. Iowa Department of Public Health will not delay immunization requirements for school this fall, so it is important that people start updating vaccines,” said Dr. Devine. “Certain diseases have become so rare because of immunizations that many parents question whether their children need them. Immunizations are one of the best ways to end the potentially serious effects of many diseases. Vaccines save lives. They are an important part of keeping your child healthy.”