Three Things to Know About Sports Physicals - South Shore Moms

Three Things to Know About Sports Physicals

Written By: Chris Whelan, MD

Brought to You By South Shore Health



Even though the kids have barely made it to summer camp, parents across the South Shore are starting to think about back-to-school preparations. (Sorry, kids.) For parents of young athletes, one task that can sneak up in the midst of summer fun is scheduling sports physicals.

Sports physicals screen for underlying health issues that could be worsened by increased physical activity. Here are three things you need to know about them:

Sports physicals are different from routine pediatric physicals

Sports physicals are abbreviated exams performed for the sole purpose of screening for underlying health issues. During the exam, your provider will take a brief medical history, then measure your child’s height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen saturation. These facts can help detect potential issues with nutrition, development, and cardiopulmonary diseases that could cause issues as your child’s season ramps up. 

Consider sports physical needs when scheduling an annual well-child visit

Sports physicals and annual well-child visits may seem pretty similar on the surface. After all, many of the measurements taken during a well-child visit are also taken during a sports physical.

However, a sports physical should never take the place of an annual well-child visit. These annual visits allow your primary care provider to address any underlying health issues your child may have, making it easier to proactively address any concerns that may arise.

Here are five reasons why well-child visits are so important for overall health.

With that in mind, you can take steps to coordinate the timing of an annual well-child visit with your sports physical needs. If you know your child will need an updated sports physical form right before school starts, get in the habit of scheduling well-child visits in early August.

If your child has a recent well-child visit on file (the acceptable time frame varies from school to school), you can simply call your primary care provider at South Shore Medical Center to have a sports physical form sent to you.

By planning ahead, you can cross one more thing off of your “to-do” list

You have multiple options for sports physicals at South Shore Health 

To help meet the needs of our patients, we offer a number of different ways for your child to get the sports physical he or she needs.

If you have time, it’s a good idea to contact your primary care provider at South Shore Medical Center. Your provider will be able to determine if the information on file qualifies for your specific sports physical needs or if you need to schedule another visit.

If you’re unable to see your primary care provider or if your child forgot to tell you that he or she needs a sports physical by…tomorrow, you’re in luck!

Health Express offers sports physicals at a $30 flat rate, so there’s no need to check with your insurance company about coverage. Our six walk-in urgent care locations are open seven days a week to help you get your athlete on the field in no time.


Learn more about Primary Care and Urgent Care at South Shore Health.

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