sports and camp physicals
The nurse practitioners at Kids Express can perform sports and camp physicals for kids and teenagers at our Mason and West Chester locations. After the exam, our nurse practitioners will complete required paperwork for your child to participate in their upcoming sport or camp.
Scheduling a sports physical at Kids Express: Sports and camp physicals are available on a walk-in basis (Mason or West Chester only) or you can save your spot online for our Mason or West Chester location.
about sports physicals
The two main parts to a sports physical are the medical history and the physical exam.
This part of the exam includes questions about:
- serious illnesses among family members
- illnesses that kids had when they were younger or may have now, such as asthma, diabetes, or epilepsy
- previous hospitalizations or surgeries
- allergies (to insect bites, for example)
- past injuries (including concussions, sprains, or bone fractures)
- whether the child has ever passed out, felt dizzy, had chest pain, or had trouble breathing during exercise
- any medications taken (including over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and prescription medications)
The medical history questions are usually on a form that you'll fill out with your child. Looking at patterns of illness in a family is a good way to consider possible conditions kids might have. Most health care practitioners believe the medical history is the most important part of the sports physical exam, so take time to answer the questions carefully. It's unlikely that any health conditions your child has will prevent him or her from playing sports.
During the physical part of the exam, the health care provider will usually:
- record height and weight
- take a blood pressure and pulse (heart rate and rhythm)
- test your child's vision
- check the heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose, and throat
- evaluate your child's posture, joints, strength, and flexibility
Although most of the exam will be the same for males and females, they may ask girls and guys different questions if they've started or already gone through puberty. For example, if a girl is heavily involved in a lot of active sports, they may ask her about her period and diet to make sure she doesn't have something like female athlete triad (poor nutrition, irregular or absent periods, and weak bones).
They will also ask questions about use of drugs, alcohol, or dietary supplements, including steroids or other "performance enhancers" and weight-loss supplements, because these can affect a person's health.
At the end of the exam, our nurse practitioner will either fill out and sign a form if everything checks out OK or, in some cases, recommend a follow-up exam, additional tests, or specific treatment for medical problems.
what about regular physicals?
It may seem like overkill, but also getting a regular physical is important for athletes because these are different from a sports physical. These physicals should be done with your child's primary care physician.
The sports physical focuses on well-being as it relates to playing a sport. It's more limited than a regular physical, but it's a lot more specific about athletic issues. During a regular physical, however, doctors address kids' social, emotional, academic, and physical growth and development. Sports is only a small portion of the athlete's overall health.
Even if a sports physical exam doesn't reveal any problems, it's always wise to monitor your kids when they play sports. If you notice changes in their physical condition — even if you think they're minor, such as muscle pain or shortness of breath — talk to the coach or see your doctor. You should also inform the phys-ed teacher or coach if your child's health needs have changed in any way or if he or she is taking a new medication.
Just as professional sports stars need medical care to keep them playing their best, so do young athletes. Help give your kids the same edge as the pros by making sure they get get their sports physicals.