Back-to-school checkups are the cornerstone of a healthy school year

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AllianceHealth Durant

DURANT – With homeschooling and hybrid learning disrupting classroom learning for the past 18 months, it’s easy to forget what preparing for a “normal” school year might look like. In addition to buying new clothes and stocking your child’s backpack with the right supplies, an annual physical and the proper immunizations will start your child’s new school year on a healthy foundation.

“Well-child visits allow your pediatrician to examine your child totally, assess their physical and emotional needs, support their growth and development, and intervene quickly if any issues arise.” said Paul Varughese, M.D., Pediatrics.

Children should receive an annual checkup with their physician even if they are healthy. At a checkup, your child will receive a full physical exam including measurements such as height and weight. This is a good time for parents to discuss any developmental, emotional or social concerns with the physician. Most insurance plans, including Medicaid, cover a free annual well-child visit.

Immunizations are another important way to protect your child’s health. While COVID vaccinations are not yet available for children under the age of 12, there are numerous other vaccines parents should discuss with their child’s physician, especially for children beginning school for the first time.

Receiving the right shots at the right time will help protect your child from contracting various diseases and help prevent the spread to others. Talk with your physician to learn on what vaccinations your child should receive and at what age.

“Vaccinations prevent you or your child from getting diseases for which there are often no medical treatments. These illnesses can result in serious complications and even death.” Varughese said.

If you child or teenager is involved in sports or other physical activities, their coaches may require a sports physical before they begin to play. A sports exam is similar to an annual physical exam, with addition of the physician’s review of sports-related matters such as nutrition and injuries. A primary care physician such as a family practice or pediatrician will be able to conduct a sports physical for your child.

If you need help finding a primary care physician, call 580-924-3400 or visit to be connected with one of AllianceHealth Durant/Madill qualified primary care physicians. Same or next day appointments are often available.

AllianceHealth Durant is owned in part by physicians.

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