The ABCs of School and Sports Physicals
For children, summer is a time to relax and enjoy the lovely warm weather. But for parents, it’s a time to prepare for the upcoming school year. So while you may be thinking about supplies and new clothes, don’t forget to put school and sports physicals on your end-of-summer “to-do” list.
Everything Parents Need to Learn Before School Starts
Sports and school physicals are more than a requirement to check off your “to-do” list. Research has shown that when students are healthy, they learn more and perform better in the classroom.
If you delayed scheduling physicals because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time to get back on track. Your health center is ready to serve your family in a safe environment.
As a parent, it will give you peace of mind to know that your child will be healthy and feeling his or her best during the school year.
Do Schools Require Physicals?
- Are entering a school district for the first time
- In grades pre-K or K, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11
- Want to participate in strenuous activities, such as interscholastic athletics
The exam must cover:
- Medical history
- Height/Weight/Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Vision exam
- Hearing exam
- Blood pressure
- Nutritional evaluation
Annual Physicals vs. Sports Physicals
Though often lumped together, there are many differences between sports and school physicals.
A school physical is when a doctor looks at your child’s overall health, including height, weight, BMI, vision, hearing, and other health factors. Immunizations may also be administered if your child is due for them.
Sports physicals are focused on whether your child is in proper physical condition to safely participate in a sports program. These exams are commonly used to determine if a child has an underlying health problem, like asthma, that may interfere with safe participation.
Although your health care professional can perform both, a sports physical cannot take the place of a school physical.
Why Regular Physical Exams are Necessary
Children over the age of five should be scheduled for a physical at least once every two years. However, many parents choose to schedule yearly exams for their children to track changes, like height and weight, and catch underlying health conditions early.
Avoid the End of Summer Rush
Every parent is guilty of procrastinating at one time or another. But school and sports physicals are not something to delay. The longer you wait to schedule your appointment, the more likely you are to run into the dreaded end-of-summer “physical rush.”
Request an Appointment for a School or Sports Physical
Family Health Centers’ qualified health care professionals are ready to help your family live healthier lives! We currently have open appointments for physicals at many of our locations. We also have conveniently located school-based health centers in the high schools of Freeport, Roosevelt and Westbury. Students enrolled in these schools can be examined during the school day, saving your family the time and expense of travel to a health center.
Contact us today to request an appointment.