Sports physicals are generally the same as a school physical or summer camp physical. The standard is to evaluate your son or daughter’s physical health to make sure they are cleared to engage in physical activity. If there are any restrictions on the activity level, perhaps because of a heart condition or asthma, the sports physical form will reflect that.
A sports physical consists of a medical history review and physical examination. It is important to tell the doctor about any medications, serious illnesses, allergies, past injuries, and hospitalizations. The doctor will record your child’s height and weight, blood pressure, and pulse, listen to his heart and lungs, and look at posture, strength, and flexibility. A basic vision screening is also included. We will also address diet and nutrition, and we encourage parents to ask questions if there is anything in particular you are concerned about.
At the end of the examination, the doctor will sign a form that can be used to show that your child is allowed to participate in activities, with or without certain restrictions.
If anything during the physical raises a concern about your child’s ability to play sports, the doctor may recommend a re-check or follow-up visit with a specialist. The goal is to ensure your child’s safety, which is something our pediatricians take very seriously.
Insurance does not typically cover the cost of a sports physical because they are not the same as the annual physical exam conducted by your pediatrician, which is much more comprehensive and preventative. However, you may be able to request that your pediatrician fill out any necessary forms for school or sports during your child’s regular annual exam. Otherwise, the cost of a sports physical is typically an out-of-pocket expense, due at the time of service.