Does my child need a checkup to play sports?

Your child should have a full checkup by his doctor, often called a sports physical, if he's going to play organized sports.

Most sports physicals will check:
  • height
  • weight
  • eyesight
  • vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, etc.)
  • health of eyes, nose, ears, chest and abdomen
  • strength and flexibility
A sports physical is also a good time to discuss with the doctor what sports are appropriate for your child's age and development. If your child is signed up for an organized sport, aim to do the physical about six weeks before the season starts.
Most schools and athletic clubs require a "sports physical," or checkup, prior to play. This is to help make sure sports are not risky for the child to play. It also allows for a discussion on ways to prevent any increased risks. Although most children are cleared to play sports, there are a few conditions that could be life threatening when combined with athletics. It is important to have your child evaluated.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.