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Sports Physical for Children: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Before your child starts playing a sport, it's a good idea to see the doctor for a checkup. Your doctor will get a complete picture of your child's health and growth. And the doctor can answer your child's questions about his or her body and health.

A sports checkup can help keep your child safe and healthy. It's not done to keep your child from playing sports. It will give you, the doctor, and your child's coaches facts to help protect your child.

Before the examination, gather any records that your doctor might need. This includes details about:

  • Any injuries and health problems.
  • Other examinations by a doctor or dentist.
  • Any serious illness in your family.
  • Vaccines to protect your child from things such as measles or mumps.

Be sure to tell the doctor about things that may seem minor, like a slight cough or backache. And let the doctor know what sport your child will play. Each sport calls for its own level of fitness.

Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.

What happens during the physical examination?

  • Your child's height and weight will be measured. The doctor will also check your child's blood pressure, vision, and hearing.
  • The doctor will listen to your child's heart and lungs.
  • The doctor will look at and feel certain parts of your child's body. These include the breasts, lymph nodes, genitals, and organs in the belly and pelvic area.
  • Your child's joints and muscles will be tested to see how strong and flexible they are.
  • The doctor will review your child's vaccine record. Your child may get any needed vaccines to bring the record up to date.
  • The doctor may have blood and urine tests done. He or she may order other tests.
  • The doctor and your child will talk about diet, exercise, and other lifestyle issues. This is a chance for your child to talk with the doctor about anything that he or she has questions about. Sometimes children and teenagers use this time to discuss sexuality, birth control, drugs and alcohol, and other topics that require privacy.

When should you call for help?

Be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any questions.

Where can you learn more?

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