What is a sports physical?

A sports physical is a medical exam that is used to determine if someone is healthy enough to participate in sports. Many states require children and teenagers to receive a sports physical each year prior to practicing sports or joining sports team.

Sports physicals are important to help identify and address any health issues that may prevent you or your child from participating safely.

Physical exam

During a sports physical, you will review medical history and participate in a physical exam. Sports physicals can be completed by your primary care provider or your child's pediatrician and are sometimes offered through school or sports programs.

The doctor will perform:

  • Height and weight measurements
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Vision tests
  • Examination of the heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat
  • Posture, joints, strength and flexibility tests

Some schools also offer cardiac screening to prevent sudden cardiac arrest in student athletes by performing electrocardiography and electrocardiography tests.

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