CareNow® - August 25, 2023

As the new sports season approaches, it’s time to start thinking about how you can prioritize your child’s health and keep them safe this season. One of the best ways to make sure they’re ready to play is by getting a sports physical.

These physicals help identify any underlying medical conditions, assess your child’s physical fitness, and minimize the risk of injuries during sports activities. We’re sharing the process of scheduling a sports physical at CareNow® and providing insight into what you can expect.

What to expect during a sports physical

When you bring your child in for a sports physical, you can expect a comprehensive evaluation to ensure their readiness for school sports. The process begins with a thorough medical history review.

You’ll need to share important information about your child's health, including any ongoing concerns, allergies, medications, previous injuries, and family medical history, particularly related to heart problems.

This detailed medical history helps identify potential areas of concern or additional tests that may be required. During the physical exam, the healthcare provider will:

  • Measure height and weight
  • Take blood pressure and pulse readings
  • Listen to the heart and lungs
  • Feel the abdomen
  • Check for a hernia (in males)
  • Examine the ears, nose, and throat
  • Assess joint mobility
  • Conduct a vision test

He or she may identify areas that require further examination or testing to ensure any potential health issues are addressed quickly.

How to schedule a sports physical

Scheduling a sports physical at CareNow® is a convenient way to meet the requirements for your child’s sports league. Here's how you can schedule your sports physical appointment:

Find a location near you

Use the location search tool on our website to find the nearest CareNow® clinic in your area. Enter your zip code or city to generate a list of nearby locations.

Select the clinic

Review the list of clinics and choose the one that fits your needs. Consider things like proximity to your home, school, or sports facility, as well as operating hours.

Walk in or use Web Check-In

Once you’ve chosen a clinic, you can walk in or use a convenient online check-in option. Select the most convenient option for you.

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Do all leagues require sports physicals?

Not all leagues require a sports physical, as the requirements can vary depending on the specific league or organization. However, many organized sports leagues, particularly at the school and youth levels, do require players to get a sports physical before they can participate.

The purpose of these sports physicals is to assess the individual's overall health and determine if they are fit to engage in physical activities safely. It helps identify any underlying medical conditions or risks that may affect the individual's ability to participate in sports.

It's important to check the specific guidelines and requirements of the league or organization in which you or your child intends to participate to determine if a sports physical is mandatory.

How to know if my child needs a sports physical

To determine if your child needs a sports physical, you should consider the requirements set by the league, organization, or school where your child intends to participate in sports. Here are a few steps you can take to determine if a sports physical is necessary:

  • Review league or organization guidelines: Check the guidelines and requirements provided by the specific league, organization, or school your child will be participating in. They often outline whether a sports physical is mandatory for participation.
  • Consult with the coach or team administrator: Reach out to the coach, team administrator, or the designated contact person associated with the sports program. They can provide you with information on any required medical evaluations, including sports physicals.
  • Contact your child's healthcare provider: Consult with your child's pediatrician or primary healthcare provider. They can advise you on whether a sports physical is recommended based on your child's medical history, current health status, and the requirements of the sports program.
  • Check school or district policies: If your child participates in school sports, familiarize yourself with the policies of the school or district. They may have specific guidelines regarding sports physicals for student-athletes.

Remember that even if a sports physical isn't mandatory, it can still be beneficial to ensure your child's health and safety while participating in sports activities. Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider can help identify any underlying health concerns and promote overall well-being.

Does an annual physical count as a sports physical?

No, an annual physical does not count as a sports physical. Although both exams focus on your child's health, they serve different purposes.

A sports physical specifically evaluates whether your child is healthy enough to participate in sports activities. On the other hand, an annual physical examines your child's overall physical health, as well as their developmental, emotional, and social well-being.

While it is possible to request that both the annual and sports physical be done during the same visit, we recommend that the annual physical be conducted by your child's pediatrician, who is familiar with their medical history and can provide any required vaccinations.

How to find a sports physical near me

Finding a sports physical location near you is easy when you utilize the CareNow® clinic locator tool, which allows you to enter your zip code or city and find the clinics near you. Get comprehensive information about each clinic, including contact details and operating hours.

Each of our more than 175 locations is open after hours and on the weekends, when general physician offices are typically closed, so you can get care when it’s convenient for your family. Don’t forget to utilize our Web Check-In® feature so you can wait from anywhere!

We’re proud to share that we’ve earned the prestigious title of Accredited Urgent Care Center by the Urgent Care Association (UCA), ensuring that you can have complete confidence in the quality of care we provide.

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