Ideally, you only take your child to the doctor when they’re sick or need vaccinations. However, schools require their student athletes to get physicals at least once a year, so you do need to take your child to the doctor at least once a year when they’re healthy for this purpose.
Why do schools require this? Let’s talk about why schools require sports physicals for athletes, and where you can go in the Tampa Bay area to easily get one for your child.
What Is a Sports Physical?
A sports physical is a type of annual checkup, or a physical exam, in which a healthcare provider will examine your child’s growth and wellness by measuring their height, weight, and other health indicators. Children who participate in sports must have this physical completed in order to ensure that the child is healthy enough to participate in physically demanding activities.
Because children change and grow much more year-to-year than adults do, it is necessary to check on their health more often to ensure they are growing properly. At this appointment, your child’s provider will also give your child any vaccines they may need (with your approval as their parent, of course), and also explain any other changes in your child’s growth.
Why Do Schools Require Sports Physicals?
The primary reason schools require sports physicals is that they want to make sure your child will be healthy enough to participate in sports. This is necessary to ensure that your child is not exposed to harsh exercise which may endanger the child’s heart or other organs and structures.
The doctor will check your child’s breathing, pulse, blood pressure, heartbeat, temperature, and vision.
It is best for your child to get a sports physical before the start of the school year, so it is very common for children to get them in the summer to prepare them for the upcoming school year in the fall. This is particularly important if your child has been injured previously while playing in a sport; he or she will need an all-clear from a healthcare provider to return to playing sports.
How to Prepare for a Sports Physical
Because many children find going to the doctor an unpleasant experience, it may help to tell your child what will happen during the appointment so they will be prepared. This helps with preparing kids for vaccines and shots which are uncomfortable but necessary, especially if they want to play team sports.
As the parent, be sure to bring your family insurance card, as well as a list of any medications your child may be taking (over-the-counter or prescription). During the appointment, you should update the clinician on any changes in your child’s medical history or your family medical history.
Children’s Sports Physicals in Westchase, Trinity, Lutz, and Palm Harbor
Sports physicals are yearly checkups on your child’s health that ensure they are healthy and able to participate in school sports and activities. At Children’s Medical Center, we are dedicated to providing outstanding pediatric medical care, and we perform hundreds of sports physicals every year for student athletes.
Our board-certified pediatricians are available seven days a week at our convenient locations in the greater Tampa/St. Petersburg area. To arrange an appointment, call us today at (727) 787-6335, or contact our location nearest you. We look forward to helping your child enjoy a healthy, active childhood!