Early August serves as a perfect reminder of the importance of annual child wellness exams and immunization requirements of Florida’s Public Schools systems. This is especially important information for children enrolled or entering Florida’s Pre-K-12 classrooms for the first time.
As the last few weeks of summer vacation wind down, parents and adult guardians are reminded now is the time to make an appointment with their child’s primary care provider or pediatrician.
Brevard County Public Schools officially welcomes students back to the classroom with the first official day of school scheduled for Wednesday, August 10. Are you and your students ready?
Florida Statute 1003.22 requires that each child initially entering a public or private school in the state present documentation of a physical examination performed within one year prior to registration and enrollment. This link also provides information about the types of examination documentation acceptable for enrollment as well as the required immunizations students must have prior to classroom admission. For any specific local questions regarding student health examinations or immunization requirements, visit Brevard Public Schools or call 321-454-7134 for health screening questions.
South University provides a good primer on what an annual child health screening involves prior to the start of a new school year and the benefits of these annual check-ups. Depending on the school district and state, vision and hearing exams may also be part of the registration prerequisites.
Dr. Wendy Lockhart, M.D.-Chief of Pediatrics for Brevard Health Alliance, provides some insight into the benefits of these annual back-to-school rituals, also known as Well Child Check-ups (WCCs).
“Annual WCCs are a chance for patients and parents to bring up non-urgent concerns, as well as the opportunity to discuss healthy lifestyles and development,” explains Lockhart.
“In addition to those discussions, it allows parents to consult with their pediatricians or family practice doctors with concerns about the proper immunizations and/or vaccinations that might be required as part of continuing Covid-19 issues.
“Since the Covid-19 pandemic started, WCCs and routine vaccinations were interrupted for many patients,” she points out.
“Vaccines help prevent serious illnesses including secondary infections that follow viral illnesses. One example is the pneumococcal vaccine that prevents pneumonia, sinusitis, and ear infections,” she said.
Outside of the opportunity to address those issues, Lockhart reminds parents that WCCs can also be useful in detecting any early signs of illnesses or health concerns common in school-aged patient populations.
“A lot of this depends on the age of the patients,” she informs.
“WCCs can help detect developmental and growth delays, such as speech delay and autism. The school-age WCCs may help pick up learning problems and the pre-teen visits often find depression and scoliosis.”
BHA’s veteran pediatrician adds that at the end of the day, WCCs provide a host of benefits.
“At all ages, WCCs ensure that your child is growing well, developing, and learning well. For disease prevention, these annual check-ups also help ensure that recommended vaccines are given.
“The Well Child Check-ups are also an opportunity for the parent and patient to address any concerns they may have. Our goal is for our children to become healthy, happy adults.”