As you purchase new school supplies, search for your child’s favorite outfit to wear on their first day, and plan to adjust your schedule to take the kids to and from their many school year activities, don’t forget to pause and focus on their health.

For many families, the important annual pediatric wellness exam happens right as summer ends. These back-to-school checkups ensure that your child is physically healthy and developmentally on track. At your back-to-school checkup, you may cover:

• IMMUNIZATIONS AND VACCINES
Your annual visit with your pediatrician will keep your child on track for the necessary immunizations and vaccinations that prevent serious illnesses and help keep them healthy. If you’re not sure what immunizations your child needs or are unsure about why they need immunizations, your doctor will know what they’re scheduled for and can answer any questions you may have.

• PHYSICAL WELLNESS
Your pediatrician may check your child’s eyesight with a vision exam, confirm their heart and blood pressure are healthy, and test for diabetes. Depending on their age, your doctor will make sure they’re growing at a normal rate and that their weight is in the normal range. Your doctor might have a conversation with your child about healthy eating and exercise to help them understand the important role these activities play in having a healthy life.

• ADOLESCENT CONCERNS

For many parents and pediatricians, the annual wellness exam is an opportunity to check-in with your kids about important issues that may arise as they get older. Depending on your child’s age, this may include conversations about substance abuse, sexual activity, or depression. If you have any topics that are of particular concern to you and/or your child, this is a great opportunity to have that conversation with a trusted doctor.

Southwell has pediatric locations in Valdosta, Moultrie, Tifton, and Ocilla. To learn more about each location, visit

https://mysouthwell.com/pediatrics/.