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A Sports Physical is NO Substitute for a Well Child/Teen Exam


Now that summer has almost arrived and school is almost out, it's time to schedule your child's yearly well child exam. And in the case of children playing high school sports, a sports physical. But do you really need both?


The simple answer is, “No, not if you schedule a well child exam.” The two are not interchangeable. A well child visit covers everything that is needed for a sports physical. BUT, a sports physical does NOT cover everything recommended for a well child visit.


A sports physical is simply a physical done for the sole purpose of clearing a student athlete for sports. It is nothing more.


A well child exam is important in the following ways.


Not only is height and weight done at a well child exam, but those measurements can be compared to measurements from prior well child exams to see how a child/teen is growing. Episodic sports physicals cannot do this.


Various screening tests are done at a well child check. These can include (but are not limited to): hearing and vision screening; screening for anemia; screening for high cholesterol; and screening for depression and other mental health issues. These generally are not a part of a sports physical.


In addition, pediatricians attempt to provide some anticipatory guidance on a number of topics that address maintaining a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally. Why? Because well child exams are just that.....they promote wellness. They promote preventive care.


By having your child's pediatrician/primary care physician perform the well child check, (as well as any sick visits) all records are at one location, and can be reviewed for past concerns that may have otherwise been forgotten. Your child's pediatrician can also determine if your child is up to date on his/her vaccines.


Long after your child's sports career is over, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will still be important. Ask yourself where they're going to learn about that.


In a gym lined up with their team mates?  No…...



 In a small office at the back of a drug store chain?  No…





  At their pediatrician's office? YES!!!!





Pick up the phone and schedule your child's yearly physical today-and enjoy the summer!

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