Story by: Norton Children’s on June 14, 2022
Summer break is the best time to schedule a sports physical. At most schools, a sports physical must happen before a child can participate in sports or various extracurricular activities.
Many elementary, middle and high school students start new sports seasons when they return to school in August. For most, an annual exam, known as a “sports physical” must be completed before the season begins.
Although back-to-school is a busy time for families, seeing a physician who specializes in children’s health can ensure your child is ready to safely compete in sports.
A child’s primary care provider should perform their sports physical, according to April R. Mattingly, M.D., pediatrician with Norton Children’s Medical Group – Crestwood.
We offer convenient options for your child’s back-to-school wellness checkups and sports physicals. This annual physical is an important part of the back-to-school checklist. Same- and next-day appointments are often available.
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“Who better to do a sports physical than the pediatrician who is already familiar with your child’s full medical history?” said Dr. Mattingly. “That knowledge can be crucial in identifying any issues that might keep them from playing a particular sport, such as joint issues or asthma.”
What happens at a sports physical or back-to-school exam will vary based on your child’s age. Exams typically include:
During the physical portion of the exam, a provider will check your child’s height, weight, blood pressure and heart rate; check their heart and lungs; conduct a vision screen; and examine their muscles, bones and joints. The goal of the sports physical is to make sure your child is safe while playing sports, not to stop them from playing.
Regular checkups are still important, and parents can schedule a well-child visit and sports physical in the same visit. This allows even more time for parents and children to ask questions or discuss concerns. Just be sure to notify the provider’s office when scheduling the appointment. Current Norton Children’s patients can see their established pediatrician for their sports physical.
Norton Children’s Medical Group offers school and sports physicals on your schedule, with pediatrician offices in convenient locations across Greater Louisville and in Elizabethtown, Frankfort and Shelbyville, Kentucky.