If you have a child enrolled in sports, chances are you’re already familiar with pre-participation sports physicals. From ushering kids between extracurricular activities and running errands, scheduling this appointment can seem like an extra headache. However, these physicals are an important step in maintaining your children’s long-term health.
Why the Sports Physical?
In most states, sports physicals are required by law if your child wants to participate in any school-sanctioned physical activities. This visit is an important part of keeping your child healthy. During a sports physical, your physician can identify any potential conditions that could endanger your child’s health both on and off the field as well as review general health issues.
In addition, bringing your child to an annual visit with a physician they know will strengthen the doctor-patient relationship. As they grow older, that relationship can give your child an outlet to discuss topics that they may find uncomfortable discussing with you. Examples include puberty changes, social stressors, sex, or depression.
Yearly sports physicals also keep younger athletes healthy. Most children leave organized sports by the age of 13, so getting younger athletes in for a sports physical – even if it’s not required – allows the doctor an opportunity to discuss ways to stay healthy.
When Should I Schedule My Child’s Sports Physical?
Ideally, you should take your child in for a physical at least six weeks before he or she is scheduled to start the season. This gives your physician enough time to order any additional testing or referrals that may be needed.
For convenience, a sports physical can be done at the child’s annual visit. Since these checkups are effective for one year from their completion date, it ensures the young athletes are always ready to play. Your physician will fill out and sign all of the appropriate forms for you to take home at the end of the scheduled appointment.
The pre-participation sports physical is an essential component of maintaining a young athlete’s good health. To schedule one today, call for an appointment or request an appointment online. We have athletic forms on file. If you have a school specific form, please bring it to the office or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.