Student-athletes work hard to hone their skills and be at the top of their game. However, sports can be hard on growing bodies. Your child must get regular physical exams to ensure they're healthy enough for athletic activities. Here are four steps you can follow for a quick and easy sport physical exam:
1. Make an appointment.
Some sport physical services offer walk-in exams. However, you can still save time by scheduling an appointment. Student-athletes and their families are often busy people. Between sports practices and other extracurricular activities, your child has a lot of places to be. Avoid waiting in a doctor's office by calling ahead and making an appointment in advance.
2. Bring the necessary forms.
Some schools require that student-athletes have a sport physical exam before they can play on a team. If your child's school has this requirement, they may issue specific forms for you to fill out. You may be able to provide most of the information yourself, but a doctor will likely need to sign off on the form. Make sure you bring all the required material to your child's sport physical so you can receive all the necessary documentation.
3. Provide a full medical history.
During a sport physical, a physician will examine your child. However, they will also need information about your child's medical history. A history of asthma, for instance, is highly relevant to your child's ability to play sports. Your family history may also be relevant. If heart disease runs in your family, your child's doctor may check their heart health more rigorously. Make sure to provide an accurate representation of your child's medical history. Include information about your child's vaccination schedule and history of illnesses. You should also let your child's doctor know about any sport injuries they've suffered in the past as well as the subsequent treatments.
4. Give your child privacy.
As a parent, you're entitled to stay in the examination room while your child has their sport physical. However, it's best to give your child privacy. During the sport physical, the doctor will ask your child questions about their drug and alcohol use. Doctors will also ask girls about their menstruation, since athletics can interfere with girls' ability to menstruate, in some cases. Kids may not feel comfortable discussing these topics in front of their parents. Giving your child privacy will help them be honest with their doctor.
Look for a clinic near you that offers sport physical exams.