Hospitals Recommend Back-To-School Physicals

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Updated: 7/16/2013 11:04 am
KentuckyOne Health issued this statement encouraging parents to get immunizations and physicals for their children before the school year begins:

Summer is in full swing, but it won’t be long before the new school year begins.  In preparation KentuckyOne Health reminds parents with students of all ages, even those heading off for college, to be aware of immunization and health screening requirements. 

For college students planning to live on campus, most institutions require up-to-date immunizations including the meningococcal (meningitis) vaccine. While specific policies at colleges and universities may differ, recommendations from the American College Health Association (ACHA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that all incoming students be immunized before college enrollment against the following illnesses:

  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Polio
  • Varicella
  • Tdap – which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (also known as whooping cough.
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B

For students with a history of asthma, smoking, diabetes, liver disease or immune suppression, the pneumococcal (pneumonia) vaccine is also recommended.  A visit to a primary care physician can help to determine which vaccines are needed and when they should be delivered. The physician may also recommend the HPV vaccine for females and males up to age 26.

“Keeping track of vaccinations, especially in adulthood, may not always be top of mind, but it’s a very important aspect of maintaining overall health and wellness,” said Stuart Spalding, MD, KentuckyOne Primary Care, Haller, Hazlett & Adams.


For younger kids, Kentucky has a number of health requirements for school admission at various grade levels. Kentucky requires proof of a preventative health care examination conducted within one year prior to entering school, proof of an eye examination by an optometrist or ophthalmologist and proof of a dental screening or examination by a dentist.  Required vaccinations for school entry include:

  • DTaP for the prevention of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hib, haemophilus influenzae vaccine that protects against bacteria found in meningitis, pneumonia and infections of the blood, bones and joints
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Polio
  • Varicella

·         Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine

Another preventative health care examination is required within one-year of entry into the sixth grade, along with another series of vaccinations:

  • Tdap – which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (also known as whooping cough.
  • Meningococcal (meningitis)
  • Second dose of varicella

Receiving the annual influenza vaccine is recommended for children and adults, and is particularly important for adults living in housing communities like college dormitories. The flu vaccine typically becomes available in the fall around September or October and can be administered by a primary care physician as well.


Physicals for Student Athletes

For students planning to participate in sports, late summer is also the time to schedule an annual physical examination or preventative health care examination. While a sport-specific physical may be all that it is required, they may not address the overall health of the individual and monitor for vaccination updates, etc.


Even for those not planning to don a uniform, an annual physical exam by a primary care physician is an important part of staying well and identifying potential health concerns.


“While many adults make well visits a priority for their children, back-to-school is also a good time for adults to make their own health a priority,” said Spalding. “Seeing patients annually helps physicians develop a thorough health history of past illnesses, injuries and immunization. An ongoing health record can help us to identify potential health concerns.”


For questions about vaccinations or to schedule a physical exam, contact a primary care physician.


The second annual Park DuValle Community Health Fair, located at 3015 Wilson Avenue, will be held on August 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The event will include back to school and sports physicals, flu shots and screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure and glucose. Experts will also share their expertise and knowledge on the health-related topics including nutrition, fitness and personal safety.  The event is part of KentuckyOne Health’s mission to increase access to preventative care and improve the health of all Kentuckians.


Jewish Physician Group local primary care offices will also be offering sports physicals for $25 and school physicals for $65. Some insurance companies cover this cost. 

About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health was formed when two major Kentucky health care organizations came together in early 2012. KentuckyOne Health combines the Jewish and Catholic heritages of the two former systems – Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System. In late 2012, the organization formed a partnership with the University of Louisville Hospital | James Graham Brown Cancer Center.  The nonprofit system is committed to improving the health of Kentuckians by integrating medical research, education, technology and health care services wherever patients receive care. KentuckyOne Health has more than 200 locations including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies, with nearly 15,000 employees across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is the largest health system in Kentucky. 

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