Regular physicals or physical exams are crucial for monitoring the growth, development, and overall health of your child before they start school,engage in sports, or begin a new physical activitythat could endanger their health and others’ health. These physical exams are often required by educational institutes and sports organizations for older children to participate.
Typically, physicals refer to medical examinations or checkups that a pediatrician performs to assess your child’s overall health and well-being and detect any potential health issues before they start playing a sport or activity. This helps you and your child’s doctor know the state of your child’s health before they begin a new activity and make sure they are healthy enough to engage in that activity.
Physicals are a normal part of a well visit for children five and older. Sports physicals are usually performed when the child needs clearance before beginning a new activity, so they are common for older children and teens.
This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about physicals, including the different types of physicals, their components, and their purpose.
Different Types of Physicals for Children and Their Purposes
There are several different types of physical exams for children and each type has a specific purpose. The two most common types of physicals for children are pre-participation physicals and school physicals.
Sports physicals, otherwise known as pre-participation physical evaluations, are performed to determine if it is safe for your child to participate in a particular sport or engage in a new physical activity at school. Most states and schools require sports physicals to ensure that your child’s body is healthy and in good shape to start a new activity.
School physicals are another important type of physical exam that are conducted on students to evaluate their overall health and well-being. School physicals ensure that students are in good health and are free from any contagious diseases or conditions that may pose a health risk to themselves and other students in the school.These physicals also serve to identify any underlying health problems in the children, developmental concerns, and disabilities that may require the school to provide additional support to the student.
In addition to these, routine physicals are also recommended to children at regular intervals during their infancy, early childhood, and teen years.
Components Of Physicals
Here are a few key components of physicals:
Medical History Review
Your child’s pediatric healthcare provider will review their medical history, including any history of previous illnesses, surgical procedures, allergic reactions,and chronic conditions.They may also review any medications that your child has previously used or is currently using for ongoing health conditions.
During a physical exam,your pediatrician will check the general health of your child. They may perform:
- Heart exam to detect an irregular heartbeat, heart murmur, or other signs of heart disease.
- Lung exam to identify the presence of lung disorder.
- Head and neck exam to assess the overall health of ears, nose, sinuses, eyes, lymph nodes, carotid arteries, and thyroid.
- Abdominal exam to detect the size of the liver and the presence of abnormal abdominal fluid.
- Neurological exam to assess muscle strength, reflexes, balance, and mental state.
- Dermatological exam to identify dermatological problems or diseases in the skin, nails, and other body parts.
- Extremities exam to check the health of your child’s arms, legs, and joints.
- Gender-specific exams, which may include breast and pelvic exams for females, and hernia, testicular, and penile exams for males.
There is no fixed rule on what type of laboratory tests should be performed during annual physicals. Typically, for a child’s physicals, a pediatrician orders a complete blood count test and chemistry panel.
Your pediatrician will ensure that your child’s vaccinations and immunization are up to date as per the requirement of the state or school. They may also administer any missing vaccination as per the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Pediatric Physical in Trinity, FL
If you are in search of a highly trained and compassionate pediatrician who offers physicals for children, contact Children’s Medical Center today at a location nearest to you. We are dedicated to providing your child – from newborn to adolescent – with the highest quality pediatric care. Our compassionate team of pediatricians offers sports physicals, school physicals, well-child checkups, urgent care, same-day sick visits, and in-office laboratory services.
If you would like to know more about physical exams or want to schedule a consultation, please contact us today at one of our four locations in Westchase, Palm Harbor, Lutz, and Trinity by calling (727) 787-6335.