07 Aug 6th Grade School Health Exam: You need to know
This article is about what to expect when you take your 11 year old 6th grader for a School Entry Health Exam, including vaccine information.
Did you know there are no vaccines needed as your child goes in to 6th grade?
Whew. When Victoria asked me this question in the car on the way to the doctor’s office, I didn’t want to tell her I really didn’t know so I just danced around it. Hope this saves you and your child some anxiety on your way to the appointment.
Finding Healthy Gratefulness
After finding frustration waiting for 45 minutes, I found my gratefulness. Thank God we were only there for a checkup. After a few deep breaths and putting myself in check, I found compassion for parents who were there with children who had ailments and illnesses. We were only there for a 6th grade school school health exam, after all. (Related gratefulness blogs here)
And then we found our curiosity and things got interesting.
Little known health exam info for an 11 year old girl
According to our doctor, young girls can start their period within two years after needing their first training bra. This can happen any time from age 9-13. I found this to be so helpful. I’m pretty sure my selective memory has erased any personal memory references for this timeframe, so it was reassuring to hear this from the doctor. I don’t even think we had these mandatory doctor visits for a 6th grade school health exam in the 1980s; but again, I may have just forgotten.
Blood pressure for my 11 year old girl was 105/66, right at average for her percentile. Even though our doctor did an excellent job explaining the percentile thing, I pretty much forgot the explanation on the way to the elevator when we were leaving.
Apparently, taller children usually have higher blood pressure than shorter children. Overweight or obese children are more likely to have high blood pressure. And boys usually have slightly higher blood pressure than girls.* according to Stanford Children’s Health.
Next, the doctor asked how we were doing with social distancing the the impending back to school scenarios. I shared our silver lining about appreciating more time together and being grateful for a closeness we might not have found under any other circumstances.
As we wrapped things up with the health exam, Victoria played around in my purse and proceeded to drop a glob of lipgloss on her tie dye t-shirt, reminding me of just how young she still is. And I cherish that.
Oh, and one last thing….
Shots Needed Before 7th Grade for School Health Exam
- Tdap Vaccine. The “T” is for Tetanus. It causes painful muscle tightening and stiffness, usually all over the body. The “D” is for Diphtheria which can cause a think coating to form in the back of the throat. And the “P” is for Pertussis (Whooping Cough) which causes severe coughing spells. Here’s a link to the CDC to learn more.
- HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Vaccine. According to the vaccine information statement from the CDC, this vaccine can prevent infection with some types of human papilloma virus. HPV infections can cause certain types of cancers including cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers in women, penile can in men and anal cancers is both men and women. The HPV vaccine prevents infection from the HPV types that cause over 90% of these cancers. Here is the link to the CDC information statement about HPV.
- Meningococcal ACWY Vaccine. According to the CDC, this vaccine can help protect against meningococcal disease. What is that? Meningitis, which is an infection of the lining of the brained spinal cord. Here is more information about the Meningococcal ACWY Vaccine from the CDC.