School and club sports provide excellent opportunities for children to exercise and stay active. Going to camp is a wonderful time for a child to spend time in nature and make new friends. However, before embarking on these adventures, children need to be evaluated to make sure their physical health is up to these activities. This is especially important for those with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, sickle cell disease, and severe allergies.
A sports or camp physical is a little different than an annual well-child checkup. It starts with a review of the child’s health history as well as an assessment of their emotional maturity for the activity.
The medical history includes information concerning:
- Illnesses of family members
- Chronic past disease conditions of the participant
- Present health conditions
- Prior hospitalizations or surgeries
- Allergies, especially severe ones
- Past musculoskeletal injuries or concussions
- History of chest pain, breathing difficulties
- History of dizziness or fainting
- Medications (prescribed, OTC or supplemental)
Any paperwork required by the sport or camp should be filled out prior to the appointment and will be reviewed by the physician. Next there is a physical exam with a focus on The musculoskeletal system to make sure the muscles, bones, and joints are up for the intended activity. Finally there is a summary of any notable findings and plan to remedy any of these before the activity, writing any necessary prescriptions, and then the physician completes the forms..
We recommend scheduling these at least a month in advance in case there are any new health issues identified that need further evaluation. Sports and camp physicals are good for 12 months, So if the child decides to go to a additional camp or try a new sport during that time, the necessary paperwork can be filled out without scheduling an additional appointment.