A sports physical helps evaluate and determine whether it is safe for your child to participate in sports. A sports physical is required in Washington State in order for your child to start a new sport or season every 1-2 years depending on the school district rules and starts after the start of 6th grade. There are two parts to a sports physical – medical history and physical exam.
Sports physicals are important in order to find out and treat any health issues that may interfere with your child playing sports. A sports physical focuses on overall health and well-being as it relates to sports, it is much more specific to athletic issues than a regular physical. At The Everett Clinic, our pediatric department incorporates the sports physical into the yearly well child exam so that both are done at one visit. The yearly well child exam is important so that we address other aspects of your child’s health including immunizations, growth and development.
Schedule your child’s sports physical at least 6 weeks prior to the start of the sports season to allow for enough time for paperwork and any follow-up to occur.
The medical history will include questions such as:
- Heart health history and symptoms
- Illnesses your child had when they were younger
- Current medications
- Serious illness in the family
- Prior injuries and surgeries
The physical exam will include checking:
- Blood pressure and pulse
- Weight and height
- Heart, lung, abdomen, ear, nose and throat
- Posture, joint and flexibility