Sports physicals: Not a reason to skip the yearly check-up

If you have a middle or high school athlete at home, your son or daughter may have to get a yearly sports physical. Many school athletic associations require annual sports physical exams to make sure kids are healthy enough to participate in sports. Sports physicals may be conducted by a child’s usual health care provider, but are often conducted at walk-in clinics or schools for convenience.

Where do most students get their sports physicals? And what should be covered? We asked.

We asked parents of children age 10-17 who play school sports where their children got their most recent sports physical. Most children (74%) got their last sports physicals from their usual health care provider. About 1 in 10 had a sports physical at walk-in or urgent care clinic or at school.
Parents were also asked what they’d like to have providers cover in a sports physical. Measuring blood pressure, discussing medical history, and testing vision were listed as very important components of sports physicals. Additionally, almost 9 in 10 parents agreed that sports physicals should not be a substitute for a child’s annual well-child visit with their health care provider. Read the full report: Sports physicals: convenient versus comprehensive?

Parent Opinions About What Sports Physicals Should Include

View full size image | See more children’s health infographics

NPCH Associate Director Sarah Clark discusses sports physicals and the results of this National Poll on Children’s Health in this short video:

What do you think?:

What should be covered in sports physicals? Share your thoughts and experience in the comments or on Facebook and Twitter!

Learn more about sports physicals at the UofMHealth Blog: It's (sports) physical time