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So why do kids need back-to-school physical exams?

Healthcare worker looking in child's earPediatrician offices are packed from June to September, full of children awaiting physical exams. Dr. Steven Blatt, director of Upstate's pediatrics division, says school physicals are conducted for several reasons. He explains on the new "Peds to Parents" blog produced by the Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital.

In his "The School Physical Examination" article, Blatt goes over the New York State requirements and provides a link to the federal government's resources about vaccines. Of course one component of most school physicals is the immunizations. The first set can be given anytime after a child turns 4, but at least before kindergarten begins.

"What many parents may not realize is that as kids get older, additional immunizations are needed," Blatt writes. Although not required by New York State law, children are eligible to receive Meningococcal vaccine at age 11, with a booster after 16 years of age. Human Papillomavirus can be administered in three doses starting at age 11. Annual influenza or flu vaccines are recommended for all children older than 6 months of age.

The "Peds to Parents" blog is updated regularly. You can also connect with Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital on Facebook.