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What Is the Difference Between Traditional and Sports Physicals?

What Is the Difference Between Traditional and Sports Physicals?

It may be summer now, but school days will be here before you know it. With school comes school sports, and for millions of kids, that means it's time for a sports physical. 

Hisham Gadalla, MD and the team at Fayrouz Pediatrics offer sports physicals for kids at their Clifton, New Jersey practice, making it easy and convenient for your child to get ready for play. Wondering why a sports physical is so important? We have the answer you’re looking for.

Why your child needs a sports physical

Even though plenty of sports require an updated sports physical before giving the go-ahead for your child to participate, a lot of parents are left wondering why the physical is necessary — especially if their child is active and healthy or if their child had a “regular” physical in the not-too-distant past. 

The reason is actually pretty simple: It’s because while annual physicals assess your child’s overall wellness and development, sports physicals use different evaluations to assess your child’s readiness for sports. In fact, a sports physical can play an important role in helping your child avoid injuries and even help them play better, so they enjoy their sport more.

The reason why most organized sports teams (including school sports) require sports physicals is to protect your child and make sure they’re ready to meet the increased demands of the sport. Sports physicals assess your child’s overall wellness and readiness for physical activity, and they also may feature assessments tailored to the sport your child will be playing.

Here’s what happens during a sports physical

Sports physicals are conducted in much the same way as a regular annual exam. Your child’s physical begins with a review of their personal and family medical history, looking for any issues that could pose a special challenge during strenuous physical activity. 

Be ready to provide the doctor with detailed information about your child’s health and your family health history, including any history of heart ailments, kidney disease, musculoskeletal disorders, or respiratory problems, like asthma. This part of the exam helps the doctor decide if your child might benefit from additional screenings to evaluate their readiness for sports.

After the health history portion of the exam, your provider performs the physical assessments, listening to their heart and lungs, checking their reflexes, assessing their posture, evaluating their eyes and ears, and performing range-of-motion exercises to evaluate your child’s musculoskeletal system. At the conclusion of the exam, we may order additional evaluations or suggest accommodations based on your child’s unique needs.

If you or your child has any questions or concerns, the sports physical is a great time to discuss them. Our team can offer tips and guidance to help your child avoid injury and get the most from their sport. Finally, we’ll fill out necessary paperwork required by your child’s team. (Don’t forget to bring your paperwork with you.)

Don’t put off your child’s sports physical

Back-to-school time is a busy time for kids, parents, and doctors, too. Sports physicals and school physicals ramp up during late summer, so if your child needs a physical for their sport this fall, now is the time to schedule it. 

To request a sports physical for your child, call 973-834-5539 or use our online portal to book an appointment at Fayrouz Pediatrics today.

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