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The Importance of Annual Exams for Children & Teenagers

Little boy standing in front of growth chart

Annual well checks keep your child on track with their vaccinations and help assess their physical development and are critical for helping keep your children healthy.

When was the last time you visited your healthcare provider? It’s probably something on your to-do list, but many adults put off visiting their doctor because their schedules are so busy. What about when you were a kid? You probably saw the doctor on a semi-regular basis, but what about your kids?

Children and teenagers are especially prone to bumps, bruises, and illnesses because of all their involvement in school activities and sports, which is why it’s important to schedule regular checkups for them. As a parent, you know setting up appointments for your kids is important, but it’s easy to lose track of when your kids should see their healthcare provider.

Elementary School Aged Children

For starters, annual exams are highly critical for the continued wellbeing of your kids. Kids who are in school are more at risk to certain illnesses. They are exposed to more germs, and they have a higher chance of getting bumps and bruises if they’re involved in sports. Scheduling regular checkups is the best way to detect health concerns early, which will provide your kids with a higher level of care to keep them active, involved, and healthy.

For kids in elementary school, regular exams are especially important. This is a critical time in their lives when they are still more susceptible to illnesses and accidents than kids in middle school and high school. Children entering kindergarten, in particular, should have regularly scheduled appointments with their doctors, because they will need vaccinations and physical assessments to set them up for success in school.

If you have children in elementary school, following the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) suggestions on vaccinations is one of the most important ways to protect them. During their checkups, their doctor will make suggestions on which vaccinations they are due.

Middle and High School Aged Children

While kids in elementary school need vaccinations, they aren’t alone in that regard. Middle schoolers and high school students also need to follow the vaccination schedule to stay healthy. During this time in your child’s life, keeping up to date with boosters and other suggested vaccinations is important for helping them finish their time in school. This will require the continuation of annual exams, during which your child’s doctor will be able to assess their progress with vaccinations and make suggestions on how to keep your child healthy.


Keeping your kids healthy and happy through their time in school is a top priority for any parent.

Learn when to schedule appointments for your child!


School Athletics

Of course, if your child is active in school activities in middle school or high school, their school will likely require them to undergo physical exams every year to participate in sports. These physical exams are important for assessing your child’s physical well-being and development.

What Happens During a Well Check?

Even if your child isn’t involved in sports, it’s a good idea to schedule a yearly physical exam for them. During these exams, their care provider will examine them from head to toe, making sure they are developing normally. They will assess your child’s:

  • Head
  • Ears
  • Eyes
  • Mouth
  • Skin
  • Heart and Lungs
  • Abdomen
  • Hips and Legs

In order to properly help your child grow up as healthy as possible, annual exams are a necessary component of their care. Scheduling regular checkups is the best defense when it comes to detecting health concerns, and it provides your child with the necessary care to live a healthy, happy life.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment for your child or teenager, contact Yankton Medical Clinic or Vermillion Medical Clinic today!


It’s easy to lose track of when to schedule checkups for yourself, but it’s critical to remember to set up annual appointments for children. If you have a child or teenager, these checkups keep them on track with their vaccinations and help assess their physical development. Annual exams are critical for helping keep your children healthy and happy through their time in school.