CareNow® - May 25, 2011
by CareNow

It’s been shown that children and teens who participate in school sport programs not only maintain their active lifestyle, but can also succeed in other aspects, such as academics. As parents, we want to provide our children with every opportunity possible to become the best person he or she can be.

Before participating in school sports, children typically need to undergo a sports physical. Sports physicals are examinations to screen for any medical conditions that could increase the risk of harm or injury when participating in various sports or activities. There are two main parts to all sport or school physicals: the medical history and the physical exam.

Medical History

Before a child is examined, parents must fill out a detailed medical history, which can help identify potential causes for concern or extra examinations. Medical histories will include information such as:

  • Any ongoing health problems or concerns you or your child may have, including allergies
  • A list of any medications your child takes
  • A history of previous injuries, such as concussions, sprains or broken bones
  • Any previous hospitalizations or surgeries
  • Any history of medical problems that run in the family, especially heart-related problems

Once this medical history is completed and reviewed, the doctor will then perform the physical exam.

Physical Exam

The physical exam section of sports physicals will include:

  • Height and weight measurements
  • Blood pressure and pulse reading
  • Listening to the heart and lungs
  • Feeling the abdomen
  • In boys: checking for a hernia
  • Checking the ears, nose and throat
  • Testing for normal motion in the joints, including the neck, back, arms and legs
  • A vision test

Occasionally, the exam may identify areas of concern that need additional examination and testing.

Sports physicals are a great way to make sure your child is ready for the school year. Be sure to ask your doctor if you have any questions or concerns, and visit CareNow for more information on setting your child up for a successful school year.