Martha Jefferson Monday: What Happens During a Kindergarten Phy - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: What Happens During a Kindergarten Physical?

School is out for the summer, but if you are going to be sending a little one off to kindergarten in the fall, there is something that you need to be taking care of now, in order to ensure they are ready. In Virginia, physicals are required for all children entering kindergarten. Doctors say it’s an important time to assess their readiness for school in more ways than one.

“It’s to ensure that they are physically as well as mentally ready to go into kindergarten,” noted Dr. Margo Gill, a physician with Forest Lakes Family Medicine. “The most important part in terms of the mental assessment is ensuring that they are going to excel and do well and that they are at the appropriate learning level and appropriate behavior level to join the class.”

A typical appointment will start with a conversation between the doctor, parent(s) and child. Then, doctors engage children with coloring and drawing activities, jumping exercises, and likely will talk through colors or numbers with them as part of their assessment.

“Normally the children feel very engaged and involved during the exam,” said Dr. Gill.

A physical exam of the heart and lungs is also covered, and there are some kindergarten shots that have to be given too, but doctors work to make them as painless as possible.

Finally, Dr. Gill says the appointment really providers a good time for parents to get their questions answered as well, and for doctors to share recent updates and guidance surrounding new developments or requirements.

“The other reason to come in for annual well visits, especially the kindergarten well visit is to review safety guidelines,” noted Dr. Gill. “There are always new things coming out about booster seats and car seats that can be very important. Additionally, we tend to share some anticipatory guidance as to what to expect, especially if your child hasn’t been in school, as it’s a great period of transition for most families.”

For more information on this topic, call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009.

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