Your child’s school, summer camp, sports team or university may require a medical prior to enrolment or participation. These medicals are a good opportunity to evaluate your child’s overall health, update any necessary vaccinations and screen for any unrecognized medical problems. At International Medical Clinic, all of our doctors are quite familiar with the various medical requirements for most international schools in Singapore and are comfortable with performing this important examination.
1. What Are School Medicals?
Most international schools require a medical examination by a doctor before admission. Sometimes, these are also done on a regular yearly basis for children involved in competitive sports. They are also needed for certain physically strenuous camps. The requirements vary greatly from school to school and can range from half a page to a very comprehensive four-page form.
2. Why a Medical?
Most schools want to know if the child carries any infectious diseases and is physically fit for sports. Some schools also want to ensure that the child is properly vaccinated and will not be a source of preventable infectious diseases. Other schools are also interested in the psychological development of the child and if he has any special needs that they need to cater to.
If your child has not had a check up for a long time, this is also a good opportunity for the doctor to review his growth and development, and assess any minor symptoms that may not have bothered you enough to seek treatment but may be significant pointers to more serious problems, like snoring or allergies. You can also catch up on any missing vaccinations.
3. Does my child need to be present?
Yes, the doctor cannot simply sign off on your form as we are entrusted to check that the child is well and fit. Previous visits to the doctor may not have focussed on the relevant aspects.
4. What happens during the medical?
At IMC, nurses will check your child’s weight and height, blood pressure and vision before your consultation with the doctor, so do come a little earlier than the appointment time, especially if you bring a few children at once. In the consultation, the doctors will go over your child’s medical and vaccination history and perform a thorough physical examination, according to the requirements of the school. Sometimes, vaccinations may be required.
5. How do I prepare for it?
Please read the form that the school has given to you to see what will be required and remember to bring the form along. Please bring along all old medical records, including the “Baby Book”, and any weight and height records, if available. Vaccination records are especially important. If you have lost them, you can call our clinic to see if we have copied them before. Otherwise, you could contact your previous doctor to get copies sent to you.
Tell your child that they are coming for a check up to make sure they are healthy and can have a good time in their new school. Please do not create anxiety in the child by talking excessively about vaccinations, neither should you promise them that there will be “no needles”. Children do pick up on their parents’ anxiety and will be needlessly stressed by it. We’ll provide a little surprise after the needles but you could also bring along your child’s favourite toy and treats.
Schedule it as soon as you receive the forms so that you will not be rushing with everyone else at the last minute. This is especially important if the medical is for relocating to a foreign school or university. Some foreign schools require tests and xrays that will take longer to complete. Sometimes we do pick up medical problems that need further investigation or referrals before we can complete the form.
Dr Lim Hui Ling – International Medical Clinic
MBBS MMed (Family Med) MCFP(S)
A graduate of the National University of Singapore in 1993, Dr Lim is a family practitioner at our Jelita clinic, with interests in women’s health, asthma and allergies, breast feeding and minor surgery. She is a Collegiate Member of the College of Family Physicians and was awarded her Masters in Family Medicine in 1999.