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Time to Schedule School, Sports Physicals


Summer is in full swing, but now is the perfect time to schedule school and sports physicals as back-to-school season fast approaches.

Pediatrician Dr. Kara Shafer, who practices at Memorial Care on Koke Mill, notes the main purpose of a school physical is to make sure children are growing in a healthy manner, both physically and mentally.

It’s also the law. Illinois requires school physicals for children in day cares, preschool, kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade. Weight and height are measured to ensure appropriate growth and to screen for obesity. If risk factors are present, a fasting blood sugar test may be done to rule out diabetes.

Blood pressure measurements, heart rate and other vital signs can also ensure your child is healthy and has no underlying conditions.

“The school physical is also an excellent opportunity to talk about developmental milestones, especially for preschool and kindergarten, to make sure the child is progressing normally,” Dr. Shafer said. “As children get older, we also discuss the importance of nutrition and exercise, screen for depression and cover other topics important to health.”

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