An annual checkup usually starts with vital signs checks. The blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature will all be checked. The physician will usually talk with the patient as he performs other tests, including checking the heart through a stethoscope, listening to the lungs, and checking reflexes. The doctor will typically check the throat and the tonsils, the ears, the eyes, the nose, and the lymph nodes as well. If the patient needs vaccinations, those will usually be brought up to date during the annual checkup as well. This type of visit can actually be customized for the individual, based on what the child or adolescent's needs are at that time.
An annual checkup is an important time for the young person because their bodies are in a constant state of change and growth. The doctor will make sure that these changes are taking place at the proper pace and that their body is being maintained as effectively as possible. The annual checkup can be especially useful for identifying emerging issues in young people. Diseases like diabetes are on the rise among young people today, and the doctor can identify the early signs of issues like this so that preventive treatment can begin.
Parents should compile any information related to the child's health prior to the annual checkup. If the child has undergone medical treatment anywhere other than with their primary care doctor, the parents should have this paperwork on hand. The doctor may also ask that the young person doesn't eat or drink for a certain period prior to the annual exam, as brief fasting can lead to the most accurate and clear testing results.
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