Lydia Bennett, MD is one of our talented DMC Primary Care Family Physicians. Recently, she was even interviewed for Parenting Magazine! With school just around the corner, we wanted to share some of her answers to frequently asked questions we hear from parents.

How often does my child need a physical and why is it important?

Ideally, your school age child should have a Well Child Check, also referred to as a Health Maintenance Visit, once a year. Many children will require this annual visit not just for general health evaluation, but also for school, sports, and camp/activity clearances.”

What is the difference between an annual physical and a sports physical?

As primary care providers, and parents, we know how difficult it can be to arrange for each child to be seen yearly, so your child’s annual visit covers a multitude of topics and evaluations. In addition to sports/activity participation, it’s important to go over key factors in keeping healthy, including evaluation of musculature, pulmonary and cardiovascular health, nutrition, fitness, sleep, relationships, and emotional health.”

Why are physicals important to my child’s school?

“Wellness checks are important to schools for several reasons. School is an environment with many children and adults in close quarters, so ensuring that vaccinations are up to date helps to keep the school community healthier as a whole.  Sports and activities are often done through school programs, so the participation evaluation is important to your school in being aware of your child’s current health state and/or potential needs or restrictions.”

How can I prepare my school age child for his/her physical examination?

The best way to help prepare your child is by setting a good example for overall healthy lifestyle. Working on healthy nutrition, fitness activities, and lifestyle choices as a family is the best preparation.”

How important is it to ensure vaccinations are up to date?

“Keeping up to date with vaccines is of vital importance to your child’s health, and the health of our homes, schools, work, camp, and after school activity communities.”

My child is 15 and hasn’t had his/her HPV vaccination – is it too late?

“The HPV, or Human Papilloma Virus, vaccination is scheduled to be given to girls and boys at their annual visit of 11 or 12 years of age. However, teens and young adults can and should get this vaccine series, if not done previously.”


We hope you found these answers informative and interesting. Stay tuned to our blog for other articles highlighting ways to maintain your health as an individual or as a family.

To see Dr. Bennett’s full answers and feature, make sure to check out Parenting Magazine.

To make an appointment with Dr. Bennett, click below!