Make sure you see the doctor before the first day of school

Back to school


JACKSONVILLE, Fla – It's back to school time and doctors say they're not just treating patients but also making sure they don't have to treat them in the future. For some students, it's what they need to get into school but for others it's part of their yearly routine to keep their health in check.

Florida law requires that students must have a Florida Certification of Immunization or have an exemption on file at their school.  Students in Grades Pre-K and K who are entering school for the first time must prove they had a physical examination that has been done within twelve months of enrollment.  It also applies to any student in Grades 1-12 entering school in Florida for the very first time.

Dr. James Perrin is a physician at CareSpot on the Westside.  He said while it might not seem urgent your back to school checklist should include a yearly check with your doctor.

"You always want to make sure that a child is progressing properly," says Perrin.

Students first entering school a physical and proof of the appropriate vaccines are a must.  But even if it's not required Dr. Perrin says checking in with your doctor once a year has it's benefits.

"They're comfortable with them they can talk with them, about things happening in their lives, with your child's health," says Perrin.

They'll check your child's blood pressure, test for diabetes, do a vision screen, just to name a few and the doctor will create a medical history that could one day raise a red flag if there's a change in your child's health.  Dr. Perrin says parents and students should come prepared for that visit by writing any questions or concerns down to discuss.

"It helps us with being able to be concise and make sure that we answer their questions.  When they get in some people can get nervous when they're around physicians so having that written down can be good and that way they know exactly what they want to talk about," says Perrin.

Perrin says make sure you bring any paperwork you need filled out for that first day of school.

There are also a couple more opportunities to get a physical at the Duval County Health Department on North Pearl Street. Tuesday and Thursday from 8am to 3pm it's offering a walk in opportunity to get an exam.  It's 30 dollars per exam.  You can get Immunizatons Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm.  For more information call 904-253-1420.  

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