Back-To-School Checkups are the Cornerstone of a Healthy School Year

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on August 18, 2021 with No Comments

Michael F. Mirochna, M.D., a family medicine physician with Northwest Medical Group

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 checkups with children in our community allow us to not only perform sports physicals for the athletes, but also discuss preventive issues and administer immunizations, which are not typically provided at minute clinics or large screenings at school physicals,” said Michael F. Mirochna, M.D., a family medicine physician with Northwest Medical Group. “We are positioned, with our rapport with families, to address sensitive issues during development and can also educate and answer questions about the difficult topic of COVID.”

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.

Nikole Pennington, FNP, with Northwest Medical Group – Pediatrics

It is essential for children to receive the appropriate immunizations at the appropriate time. Immunizations are the most effective way to protect your children against unnecessary and sometimes fatal childhood disease.” says Nikole Pennington, FNP, with Northwest Medical Group – Pediatrics. “Immunizations offer protection to us from preventable diseases. They have been around for many years and there are decades of scientific research to support vaccines being effective. In the long run vaccines will offer protection to your child and those who may come in contact with them.”

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 provider or pediatrician, visit to be connected with one of Northwest Medical Group’s physicians or nurse practitioners. 

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