Open Accessibility Menu

Prepare your child for success on the field: schedule a sports physical

Published in Pediatrics, Sports Medicine , For the Health of It Author: Andrew Maloney,MD Author: Andrew Maloney, MD

Summer vacation will be here before you know it. When planning which week to take a family vacation and deciding which activities to sign up your kids up for, there’s something else you should think to schedule. Your child’s sports physical.

Scheduling your child’s sports physical exam in the spring or early summer can help take out the stress of trying to fit it in when August comes around. In Minnesota, physicals are required before children start kindergarten, 7th grade, and before starting any high school sports activities. If your child already has completed a sports physical, he or she will need to complete another one every two to three years.

However, it is still recommended that a child have a wellness visit with his or her health care provider once each year. These appointments are helpful for talking about diet and exercise, educating about concussions, discussing how school is going, and for reviewing any chronic problems and/or changes during puberty. A sports physical can be part of your child’s annual visit.

There are two main parts to a sports physical: the medical history and the physical exam.

Schedule Your Child's Sports/School Physical

Contact your child's clinic for an appointment. View all CentraCare Health clinic locations.

Medical history

During the medical exam, your child will be asked a series of questions to determine your child’s health history. These questions focus on:

  • serious illnesses among family members
  • your child’s previous illnesses or injuries or any your child may currently have
  • any previous hospitalizations or surgeries
  • your child’s allergies
  • if your child has ever passed out or experienced chest pain, dizziness, or trouble breathing during exercise

Physical exam

Your child’s health care provider will review:

  • height and weight
  • blood pressure and pulse readings
  • vision, heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat
  • bones and muscles by monitoring posture, joints, strength, and flexibility

A sports physical also can be helpful for your child, because the health care provider can review any current medical medications—like inhalers for asthma attacks — and determine if any changes are needed. The health care provider also can use the time to discuss good training tips and things to be cautious of when participating in certain kinds of activities.

Learn more about the comprehensive care provided for children at CentraCare Health.