It may not feel like it when it’s cold and snowy outside, but summer is on the way. And with that comes a summer camp physical. You’re probably already starting to determine where you’ll send the kids this summer, which is awesome. But before you drive them up or put them on the bus, remember that you need to do more than just choose the camp; you need to complete their physicals and forms.
It’s thought that the Boy Scouts of America initiated the practice of requiring standardized health and medical information for campers back in the 1930s with their Annual Health and Medical Record (AHMR). The practice continues into the 21st century and is common amongst most summer camps.
What to Expect at a Summer Camp Physical
It’s a good idea to take your children to the pediatrician regularly, even when they no longer need annual vaccinations. A summer camp physical provides the perfect opportunity for a check-in. During this appointment, your doctor will assess your child’s growth and development. They will also ensure you’re on track with all immunizations, especially those that might need to be updated for summer camp. Camps ask for these forms so they have an understanding of attendees’ abilities and limitations. Be sure to have any forms with you when you go to your physical, since they often require a doctor’s signature.
Generally, a summer camp physical includes a medical history review and physical exam.
Medical History Review
If you schedule your summer camp physical with your child’s current pediatrician, they will likely be privy to this information, but it’s still good to review any potential changes. You’ll be asked about any medical problems that run in the family and medications your child takes. (That will also be important to share with the camp nurse to administer medications as needed.) If you have any concerns about your child participating in regular camp activities, be sure to bring them up during this interview.
If your child is not a regular patient of the pediatrician you’ve chosen for your summer camp physical, remember to have their immunization record available.
As with any well-child visit, this portion of your appointment will include assessing your child’s height, weight, blood pressure, heart, lungs, and eyesight. The doctor will also conduct a visual inspection of your child’s ears, nose, and throat; palpitate their abdomen; and test strength and flexibility. Additional tests may be ordered as required.
When Should You Schedule Your Physical?
As with anything important, you don’t want to leave this appointment to the last minute. However, you want it to be close enough to the start of camp that you are sharing relevant information. Therefore, if camp starts in June, plan to schedule your child’s summer camp physical for April or May. However, since most pediatricians schedule this type of appointment well in advance, calling the office in March or April is a smart choice. That way, you can be sure you have time to see the doctor and address any concerns. Also, if your child takes regular medication, you’ll need time to fill those prescriptions to share them with the camp nurse.
Community Choice Pediatrics Supports Your Family Year Round
Whether you are preparing for summer camp, getting ready for your kiddos to start a new sport and need a sports physical, or you’re looking for a new pediatrician, Community Choice Pediatrics is here to support your family. We believe in creating a partnership between parents and pediatricians for the well-being of your children. Contact our office now to get on our schedule. We look forward to meeting your family and answering your questions.