Summer is here, and the season of sports practices and camps has arrived. In planning for your child’s camp physical or sports physical, I wanted to share some useful tips.
First and foremost, none of us should think of a sports physical as a simple visit. Sports physicals are very important, and they should be taken very seriously.
It is important for the parent or caregiver to accurately complete the physical history form that goes along with sports physicals; ideally, this should be completed prior to the appointment and brought into the office.
A caregiver who lives in the home with the child or adolescent should also attend the appointment. Completing a sports physical involves a detailed physical exam along with discussing the child’s prior sports activity and any injuries in detail.
When scheduling a sports physical, it is also a good time to schedule a wellness visit for your child or teenager if they have not had one in the past calendar year. This is likely the case, as children and adolescents go to the doctor less often as they get older.
Wellness visits are very important, as this allows your primary care provider time to discuss in detail your child’s health, dietary habits, family life, school performance and media use.
This is also the time to ensure your child is up to date on immunizations. There are often immunizations that could be completed in this age group.
It is recommended by all insurance providers that children and teenagers have one wellness visit per year, and it is also recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that sports physicals be performed by the child’s primary care provider. This stance comes from what is mentioned above, the aspect of also ensuring the child is up to date on wellness visits. This also ensures that any follow up from the sports physical is carried out.
For example, a child had an elevated blood pressure during a sports physical visit. If this visit is completed in the child’s primary medical home, this allows proper follow up and also ensures that all of this information is included in the child’s medical record.
Ensuring the best care for your children is what we all want as parents. If your child needs a sports physical, schedule it with his or her primary care provider and ask if he or she is also due for a wellness visit or immunizations.
Morgan Windham, DNP, CPNP-PC, is a certified pediatric nurse practitioner and practices at CareSouth Carolina’s Bishopville office.