Sports physicals are often required for school-age children and teens in order to participate in team sports and athletic programs. Even when they’re not required, sports physicals are a good idea before taking up a new sport or fitness program to determine underlying health issues and prevent sports injuries and accidents.
Our team of primary care and family medicine doctors and specialists at Midwest Regional Health Services offers annual and sports physicals at our office in Omaha, Nebraska.
Questions to ask at your sports physical
If this is your child’s first sports physical, you’ll probably have questions about what to expect and what your child will need to prepare for a successful appointment. Here’s a list of frequently asked questions to help you get the information you need.
1. What does a sports physical consist of?
The purpose of a sports physical is to evaluate your child’s health, follow up on previous injuries, check their reflexes, review their medical history, and determine whether it’s safe for them to participate in sports and fitness programs.
A typical sports physical checks reflexes and joint health, vision and hearing, vital signs like blood pressure and heart rate, and respiratory and cardiac health.
2. How do you prepare for a sports physical?
A sports physical is your opportunity to ask questions about the best way to stay healthy and prevent injuries. Keep track of any symptoms and medications your child is currently taking or has previously taken, especially if they suffered an illness or injury in the past.
If you’re not sure about what to expect or how to prepare, give us a call before your appointment to go over your questions and concerns.
3. When is a sports physical necessary?
Your child may have to undergo a mandatory sports physical before joining a team or athletic program. A sports physical may also be mandatory for standard physical education, even if your child isn’t playing a specific sport.
After your child successfully completes their sports physical, they’ll receive documentation clearing them for participation. The documentation is also used to clear your child to return to physical activity after they’ve recovered from an injury.
4. How often is a sports physical necessary?
Your child’s school may require yearly sports physicals based on the academic year or sports season, but it varies and may be required more frequently if your child has an injury or underlying health condition.
5. My child recently had a well-child exam. Is a sports physical still necessary?
While there can be overlaps between what’s covered in a well-child exam and a sports physical, a sports physical is specifically designed to ensure that it’s safe for your child to participate in physical programs. Check with your child’s school and athletic programs to make sure they’re getting the right exam to clear them for performance.
For more information about what to expect and how to prepare for your sports physical, contact us to schedule an appointment.