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Has your child signed up to play a sport this season? Don't forget to get your child a sports physical!

These physicals are often a requirement in many schools and states in order to participate.

What is a Sports Physical?

A sports physical covers the basics of your child’s health.

Also known as a pre-participation physical exam (PPE), a sports physical exam can help find health problems that could stop your child from competing safely.

To start, the healthcare provider may ask questions about family history, previous surgeries, allergies, past injuries, complications during exercise and any medications your child takes.

Then, the healthcare provider will do a physical exam to check:

  • Height and weight
  • Blood pressure and heart rate
  • Abdomen, heart, lungs, ears, nose and throat
  • Hearing and vision
  • Strength, flexibility, coordination, reflexes and posture

Girls also may be asked about their menstrual cycle, or period.

What Happens During a Sports Physical?

The healthcare provider may order tests, prescribe medicine or request another exam.

If needed, the healthcare provider can also give immunizations and discuss any health-related concerns you or your child may have. Topics of discussion may include:

  • Growth
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Social Behavior

If everything checks out, your physician will sign a sports physical form. Don’t forget to leave the appointment with this signed document! It informs the school that your child has had a physical examination and immunizations are up-to-date.

Urgent Care Sports Physicals

Plan on getting your child a sports physical at least six to eight weeks before the season starts. The physical is usually good for one year.

If your child has a medical condition that interferes with playing sports or recently had an injury, you may need to schedule more frequent check-ups.

Things to bring with you during your visit:

  • If your child takes medicine, it’s a good idea to bring that with you to the appointment.
  • Also, spend some time thinking of questions and concerns you and your child can ask your healthcare provider during the sports physical.

Sometimes it can be hard to remember these types of things during the visit, so writing them down beforehand can be a big help.

Where to Get a Sports Physical Near You

Our CareNow® urgent care clinics are open seven days a week and welcome walk-in patients. Or, try our Web Check-In® feature to avoid wait times from the comfort of your home.


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