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Ensure A Healthy Start To The School Year

 Middle School Students Exiting A Yellow School Bus

Back to School, Back to Family Care

Summertime is filled with activities as we soak up all the warm weather we can here in Central New York. But now that everyone is getting back to their usual work and school schedules, it’s important to book an annual check-up. The start of the school year is an especially important time for parents to make sure their children’s healthcare needs are met. Learn more about the importance of primary care in this post from the team at Oswego Health.

Track Vital Signs, Growth, and Development

An annual physical exam is important for creating a long-term record of a child’s health and medical history. During an annual check-up (sometimes called a well-child exam), a pediatrician will measure the patient's height and weight to ensure they are developing appropriately and getting the proper nutrition. They will listen to a child’s heart and lungs, check their heart rate and blood pressure, and look inside their ears, nose, and throat. An annual check-up helps parents monitor their child’s health, track their developmental milestones, and get answers to any medical questions they may have. If a child is due for a vaccine or a booster shot, they can take care of this during the visit.

Stay Up-to-Date on Immunizations

Staying up-to-date on vaccinations is important for both children and adults. Most children should receive routine vaccinations to protect them against the following conditions:

  • Chickenpox
  • Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • Polio
  • Rotavirus
  • Tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough (Tdap)

Some vaccinations, such as the flu shot, are recommended annually. Getting a flu shot in the fall, before influenza spreads in schools and communities, can help patients stay healthy. Other vaccines are given just once, or in a series. A primary care provider can provide parents with a schedule of recommended vaccines for their children.

Sports Physicals

The start of the school year also means it’s time for the fall athletic season. Many school districts and athletic leagues require an annual physical to be eligible to participate in organized sports. Children who will be playing a sport in the fall should get a sports physical before the start of the school year. In addition to recording vital signs, this type of physical can determine a child’s fitness to participate in sports and catch any issues early on that could potentially lead to an athletic injury during the season.

Eye Exam

Poor vision can negatively affect a child’s class participation, learning progress, and test scores. That’s why school-age children should have an annual eye exam. According to the American Optometric Association, the most common vision problems among school-age children are farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism. If a child is complaining of headaches or is squinting frequently, they may need a prescription for eyeglasses. An eye exam in the fall can help monitor any changes in a patient’s vision.


Some children need specialty services to help them learn and thrive in school. With annual well-child exams, a primary care physician can make sure a pediatric patient is hitting the right developmental milestones and can refer them out for services like speech therapy or occupational therapy if they need additional support.

Don’t Forget About Preventative Care for Adults

As summer vacation ends and patients get back into their regular routines, fall is also a great time for adults to schedule a yearly check-up with their doctor, as well. Preventative care is just as important for adults as it is for children – and as patients age, getting regular check-ups can help prevent and monitor chronic conditions and ensure that a patient is getting the screenings they need, such as a mammogram or colonoscopy.

Schedule an Annual Check-up with Oswego Health

Parents can help set their kids up for success by starting the school year with an annual check-up at Oswego Health. With multiple locations, the medical providers offer primary care services for both kids and adults throughout Oswego County, NY. Oswego Health also provides:

To get more information or schedule an appointment, contact us today.

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