It may be a long time since you have visited your doctor for a regular physical. With the arrival of the new school season, you may have also already given some thought to the physical exams your children may have to take, whether it is for an ordinary checkup or to participate in school sports. In many cases, children may require both a regular or annual physical and a sports physical. In fact, it is likely that both of them will be conducted together. However, there are important distinctions to be made between the two physicals.
What Is a Regular Physical?
The purpose of a regular or annual physical is to assess the multiple facets of your child’s health. This includes not just evaluating the physical health, but also how well your child is performing socially, developmentally and emotionally.
To determine the state of your child’s overall health, the physician will conduct a comprehensive physical examination. An in-depth family medical history will be obtained to determine if there are medical conditions for which there should be preventative measures. Your child will also undergo an assessment to determine whether he or she has properly developed socially and cognitively and have reached the appropriately related milestones for his or her age.
In addition to the fitness-centered issues discussed during a sports physical, there are other important topics and areas of concern that may be addressed during a regular physical, such as:
- Behavioral and developmental screenings
- Preventative health
- Sleeping habits
- The results of lab work
- Adolescent issues
What Is a Sports Physical?
A sports physical will differ from a regular physical because its primary focus is to determine if your child is healthy enough to participate in a particular sport. This entails a thorough review of your child’s medical history and current health. If there are preexisting medical conditions or injuries, or the child’s existing fitness level is not what it should be, there may be concerns about whether he or she would be at risk participating in the sport. The physician may conduct additional tests to make sure that your child health would not be compromised while on the field or away from the game.
For a sports physical, the focus areas are primarily related to the physical health of your child, unlike the annual physical, which takes into account the child’s emotional and mental well-being. The physician will assess your child’s:
- Heart health
- Blood pressure
- Muscle and bone health
If you or your child are overdue for an annual exam, or you are looking for a place where your child can take a sports physical in order to play his or her favorite sport, don’t hesitate to contact our team at PrimeCare Urgent Care. Right now, we are offering discounted physical exams for school, sports and camp.