School and Sports Physicals
Many schools require physical examinations before a child attends class or begins to play a sport. This is to make sure underlying medical concerns will not affect participation. Our office completes these routine physicals. Please bring to your appointment any documentation you need filled out or signed for your school.
Your exam will likely be divided into two main parts:
This part of the exam includes questions about:
- Serious illnesses among family members
- Illnesses that you've had or have now, such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy
- Previous hospitalizations or surgeries
- Allergies (e.g., insect bites)
- Past injuries (e.g., concussions, sprains or bone fractures)
- Whether you've ever passed out, felt dizzy, had chest pain or had trouble breathing during exercise
The medical history questions are usually on a form that can be brought home and filled out by the parent and child together. If possible, ask both parents about family medical history.
Looking at patterns of illness in your family is an indicator of any potential conditions your child might have. It's important that you answer any questions about medical history accurately and honestly.
This part of the exam includes:
- Height and weight
- Blood pressure and pulse (heart rate and rhythm) reading
- Testing vision
- Checking your heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat
- Evaluating your posture, joints, strength and flexibility
The doctor asks questions about a person's use of drugs, alcohol or dietary supplements, including steroids or other performance enhancers that affect a person's health.
Some schools require a sport physical to include an electrocardiogram (EKG) for all students. The painless test takes about 10 minutes and measures the electrical activity of a person's heart. Electrodes, that measure a person's heart rate and rhythm, are placed on the chest, arms and legs.
At the end of the exam, the doctor fills out and signs a form, in some cases recommend a follow-up exam, additional tests or specific treatment for medical problems.