Back To School: Student health forms help fill doctors’ offices

Pediatricians getting slammed with appointments for student health forms

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It’s a frantic pace the next couple of weeks for parents as everyone gets ready to go back to school.

Pediatricians say they’re getting slammed with appointments and trying to get out student health forms.

It’s all about the paperwork, and you’ve got to get it done, but with vacations and summer camps, it can be an easy thing to forget. So much more than school supplies, gearing up for class has parents a little overwhelmed.

“It comes up quickly,” said Jennifer Nickol, a mother of a student at Goshen Elemenary School. “You think you have this long summer, and then all of the sudden it’s over and there’s a lot to do.”

“We’re getting to the end of the summer, kids are getting ready to go back to school and with that comes our well checks,” Norton Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Maddie Wardell said.

When it comes to the medical to-do list, two groups have the most work ahead: First, families with kindergarteners. The state requires a medical exam with an up-to-date immunization certificate, a vision exam and a dental screening.

Secondly? Families with sixth graders.

“Sixth graders are also required to have a physical exam and their immunizations updated as well,” JCPS Health Services manager Eva Stone said.

Think of it as a midway health tune-up.

“At the very basic level, if kids aren’t healthy and well, they’re not going to learn,” Stone said.

JCPS requires medical exams for middle and high school athletes as well. Several districts ask all student athletes to get a check-up. Norton Children’s Medical Associates in Crestwood recommends annual wellness checks for clients.

“That check-up is a great time to get their sports physicals done because those sports physicals are only good for a year,” Wardell said.

Stone added, “The athletic association has a form they require for that physical, the state has a different form that’s required for a sixth-grade physical, and what I would tell parents to do is make sure you have both forms with you when you have that physical exam done.” That’s because insurance only wants to pay once. Be prepared, so you don’t incur out-of-pocket costs.

Nickol said she was busy filling out paperwork last school year after moving to Kentucky from Colorado.

“There was more (paperwork), I would say, than Colorado, especially with starting at a new school and just making sure that we had all of our vaccines taken care of,” she said. “We’re getting there, but we still have more to do.”

Of course not all students have health insurance. JCPS families with medical-care issues can contact the district office to be connected to Family Resource Centers. Students 16 and older must also have the meningitis booster. All the health information can be found on the JCPS website.

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