Sports Physicals – Don’t Wait to the Last Minute
Sports are great for kids – they keep them fit, foster teamwork, and provide social outlets. But playing sports also carries an injury risk. That’s why many states require kids be checked out by a medical professional before playing. This check-out is called a sport physical or a pre-participation physical and it differs in scope from your child’s annual physical, which measures overall health rather testing for sport-readiness.
More specifically, pre-participation physicals check for diseases or injuries that may make playing a specific sport unusually risky for your child. The exams begin with a discussion of your child’s health history, covering topics such as asthma, fatigue, heart problems, medications, lifestyle choices, and sports experience. Your medical professional then performs a physical exam, measuring height and weight, pulse and blood pressure, cardiovascular and pulmonary functioning, vision and hearing, flexibility and mobility, and other things. Occasionally the professional may order laboratory tests.
Ultimately the medical provider makes a decision as to whether it is safe for your child to play the sport in question. This decision may be with restrictions or without.
Sport physicals can be performed by your child’s pediatrician although they are considered routine so are regularly conducted by retail clinics such as WellNow. If you’re having difficulty scheduling an appointment with your pediatrician, drop by WellNow. We’re open in the evenings and on weekends and will share all results with your pediatrician for continuity of care.