Sports Physicals

Get cleared by your provider and get in the game

If your child plans to participate in any sports at school, they will be required to have a sports physical. The sports physical allows a provider to evaluate your child’s health and ensure that they are well enough to participate in sports.

Overview

If your child plans to participate in any sports at school, they will be required to have a sports physical. The sports physical allows a provider to evaluate your child’s health and ensure that they are well enough to participate in sports.

Sports physicals provide a health baseline so your provider can identify a change in your child’s health. The physical is also a time to get advice and adjustments in medications, such as asthma inhalers. Your provider may also be able to suggest stretching or other exercises to help your child avoid injury.

Sports physicals are an important safety precaution, allowing your child’s provider to identify any limitations or areas of concern that mean he or she should avoid a certain sport.

What to Expect During a Sports Physical

Medical History

During a sports physical, the provider will ask about your child’s medical history to try to uncover any previously undiagnosed issues. Questions may cover topics such as allergies, past injuries, medications they are currently taking, previous illnesses and family history.

You and your child should always answer these questions honestly. Sometimes students are unwilling to discuss parts of their medical history because they are afraid it will keep them from playing the sports they love. However, it’s rare for a condition to keep an athlete out of sports completely.

The exam

Most physicals include taking blood pressure, measuring height and weight and a vision test. The provider will check your child’s heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat, and may also test balance, flexibility and strength.

Getting the forms signed

At the end of the sports physical, the provider will sign the required forms so your child may participate in sports. Proof of your child’s physical eligibility will be provided to the school with a pre-participation physical examination form. You may need to schedule a follow-up appointment if any further testing is required.

Referral to specialists

If the physical examination does uncover a condition, the provider may refer your child to a specialist. In addition, your child may require a referral to physical therapy after an injury or to an athletic trainer if they are looking to further improve their performance.

What To Expect

Sports physicals provide a health baseline so your provider can identify a change in your child’s health. The physical is also a time to get advice and adjustments in medications, such as asthma inhalers. Your provider may also be able to suggest stretching or other exercises to help your child avoid injury.

Sports physicals are an important safety precaution, allowing your child’s provider to identify any limitations or areas of concern that mean he or she should avoid a certain sport.

What to Expect During a Sports Physical

Medical History

During a sports physical, the provider will ask about your child’s medical history to try to uncover any previously undiagnosed issues. Questions may cover topics such as allergies, past injuries, medications they are currently taking, previous illnesses and family history.

You and your child should always answer these questions honestly. Sometimes students are unwilling to discuss parts of their medical history because they are afraid it will keep them from playing the sports they love. However, it’s rare for a condition to keep an athlete out of sports completely.

The exam

Most physicals include taking blood pressure, measuring height and weight and a vision test. The provider will check your child’s heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat, and may also test balance, flexibility and strength.

Getting the forms signed

At the end of the sports physical, the provider will sign the required forms so your child may participate in sports. Proof of your child’s physical eligibility will be provided to the school with a pre-participation physical examination form. You may need to schedule a follow-up appointment if any further testing is required.

Referral to specialists

If the physical examination does uncover a condition, the provider may refer your child to a specialist. In addition, your child may require a referral to physical therapy after an injury or to an athletic trainer if they are looking to further improve their performance.

The sports physical is a great opportunity to learn about health and growth from your provider. Your child should feel free to ask about any health concerns they have. Questions may include:

  • Can the sports physical be completed at my child’s well-child appointment?
  • If you discover a problem, how will my child be treated? Can he or she still participate in sports?
  • Can you make suggestions for injury prevention?
  • What is your recommendation regarding concussion treatment?

Questions To Ask Your Provider

The sports physical is a great opportunity to learn about health and growth from your provider. Your child should feel free to ask about any health concerns they have. Questions may include:

  • Can the sports physical be completed at my child’s well-child appointment?
  • If you discover a problem, how will my child be treated? Can he or she still participate in sports?
  • Can you make suggestions for injury prevention?
  • What is your recommendation regarding concussion treatment?

Patient Stories for Sports Physicals