Once your child starts playing sports, a yearly sports physical will probably be necessary. Schools and community sports leagues often require that a physical is completed and on file before the season starts. Getting a physical from your child's pediatrician ensures your child's health will be carefully evaluated since the pediatrician knows your child's medical history and current conditions-- if any. Here are some things a sports physical entails and how to get one for your child.
A Sports Physical Determines If Sports Are Safe For Your Child
A sports physical is not as comprehensive as a yearly wellness check your child may get from your pediatrician. The purpose of a sports physical is to look for medical conditions that could make playing sports unsafe for your child. Even if a condition is found, the doctor may recommend a follow up evaluation rather than disqualify your child for the team. A sports physical involves things like taking a brief medical history, height, weight, and vital signs. The doctor may check the lungs and heart as well as joints for indications of limitations that could interfere with sports. Your child will usually bring a form home from school that you can partially fill out in advance and then let the doctor complete. When the form is dated and signed by the doctor, then your child can return it to the school.
How To Get A Sports Physical For Your Child
A sports physical shouldn't replace a regular wellness exam by your child's pediatrician. For convenience reasons, the physicals are often given at school, and you may wish to take advantage of this service so your child's form is sure to be turned in on time and because it's convenient. However, you can also take your child to their pediatrician for a more thorough sports exam, and this could be the best choice if your child has a condition such as asthma. Also, if your child is due to have a yearly physical, you can combine the two exams and have your doctor complete the school form when the physical is complete so you'll be ready when the form is required for school. Completing the sports physical in advance of the season also allows for plenty of time for further evaluation if it's found to be necessary so your child can be cleared to play sports in time for the first training session or game.
While quick sports physicals given by schools are convenient, they aren't as comprehensive as a physical that's done by your child's usual pediatrician. If you have any concerns about your child's ability to play sports due to a health condition, then getting a physical from your child's pediatrician or a place like Better Family Care is probably the best choice for your child and your peace of mind.
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