Backpacks, school supplies, shoes, clothes—most families’ back-to-school checklists are extensive. Don’t forget to consider a trip to the doctor and updated vaccines to ensure your child has a healthy start to the new school year.

These exams are required for new and returning students:

  • Physicals: Children must get physicals for kindergarten and sixth grade.
  • Dental exams: Kentucky law requires proof of a dental screening no later than January of the first year a child is enrolled in public school.
  • Eye exams: Kindergarteners require an exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
  • Sports physicals: Athletes are often required to receive comprehensive physical exams to ensure they are ready to participate in organized sports.
  • Other: Your child’s doctor may do other exams, based on the requirements of your child’s school and the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

JCPS students are required to have the following vaccinations:

  • Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate (Hib) Required for preschoolers under 5.
  • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Second dose for students and Preschool or Head Start children who have reached 4th birthday.
  • Hepatitis B Three doses required for:  Preschool, Head Start, Kindergarten through 6th grade and students, birth date Oct. 1, 1992 or later.
  • Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DTP, DTaP, Td, Tdap) Minimum: four doses with one dose on/after 4th  birthday and at least six months between last two doses. For 6th grade entry, age 11 or 12 years old, one dose of Tdap.
  • Polio (OPV/IPV) Minimum: three doses, one dose on/after 4th birthday, and at least four weeks apart, but preferably six months between last two doses.
  • Chickenpox (Varicella) One dose, on/after age 12 months; second dose required for students and Preschool or Head Start children who have reached their 4th  birthday unless physician confirms previous chickenpox.
  • Pneumococcal (PCV) Vaccine Four doses, one on/after 12 months of age.
  • Meningococcal (MCV) Vaccine One dose at 6th grade entry, students 11 years of age.

If your child is on medications that must be taken at school, parents must be sure to get the proper forms signed during your child’s checkup. Most schools post their required forms on the school website.

Click here for additional immunization information.


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Article by:

Erica Labar, M.D.

Erica Labar, M.D., is the medical director for UofL Pediatrics Kosair Charities.

All posts by Erica Labar, M.D.
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