Schedule Now Pay Bill
be_ixf;ym_202312 d_11; ct_50

Four things to know about sports physicals for kids

We’re nearing the end of the school year, and a sports physical for your young student-athlete might be the furthest thing from your mind. They can seem like a formality, but sports physicals help ensure your child’s readiness for a safe season of school or camp sports.

Beacon Director of Sports Medicine Fellowship Dr. Linda Mansfield shares four key things parents should know about sports physicals. Be sure to check with your child’s school or organization for any specific requirements and follow up with your child’s Beacon Medical Group physician to learn more.

Is it important for kids to have a sports physical with their doctor?
Yes! A sports physical provides an opportunity to learn about any health issues that could affect a child’s safety or ability to play a particular sport. Your child’s doctor may also share information on training, nutrition and sport-specific exercises. Your child’s primary care provider is familiar with your child’s history and can best assess any issues that may affect your child’s participation in a sport.

What’s the best timeframe for a sports physical?
Requirements can vary, but in general it’s best to have your child checked out no less than six weeks before they start their sports season. The IHSAA requires that this be completed after April 1 for the upcoming school sports seasons.

What does a sports physical cover?
A sports physical will include questions about your child’s medical history — these may be covered in a form to fill out with your child. The physical exam by the doctor will include things like checking your child’s height, weight, vital signs, vision, strength and flexibility. The doctor will also take a look at ears, nose and throat as well as heart, lungs and abdomen.

Can a sports physical replace an annual checkup with a pediatrician for a child?
No. Your child’s doctor conducts a much more in-depth exam during an annual checkup, including things like assessing growth and development milestones, administering vaccines and conducting mental health screenings. The sports physical can, however, be incorporated with the annual checkup.

The primary care providers at Beacon live and work in your community, ready to listen and understand your needs. Get started today and make an appointment with a provider near you.