Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute


Sports physicals

Preventing dangerous sports injuries

What is a sports physical?

Playing sports is a great way for kids to stay active, build confidence and learn to work in teams, but at Novant Health we know what’s most important – keeping kids safe.

Not only is the sports physical required by law, but it plays a crucial role in preventing dangerous sports injuries. During the appointment, the doctor will perform a thorough physical exam, assess your child’s medical history and provide any sport-specific information and tips they need to play safely. In rare cases, issues can be identified that prevent student-athletes from participating in sports, but most concerns can be addressed so that your child can get back in the game.

We know that families are busier than ever. That’s why we offer sports physicals at all of our primary care locations, sports medicine and urgent care locations. Schedule an appointment today to ensure that your child doesn’t end up on the bench.

Students who attend one of the middle or high schools we partner with may be eligible to participate in one of our Competitive Edge sports screening day events. Visit our partnerships page to learn more.

The sports physical versus a well-child checkup

To keep kids healthy – both on and off the field – it’s important for parents to remember that a sports physical does not replace your child’s annual well-child checkup. Use the chart below to learn more about these very important exams. For your convenience, many Novant Health primary care physicians can complete both the sports physical and well-child checkup at the same appointment.

Use our physician finder to find a provider near you and schedule your child’s annual well-child checkup.

Sports physical vs Well-child checkup
Sports physical Well-child checkup
Review of medical history Yes Yes
Measure height and weight Yes Yes
Blood pressure and heart rate check Yes Yes
Check reflexes, coordination, and strength Yes Yes
Vision test Yes Yes
Check ears, nose and throat No Yes
Immunizations No Yes
Age-appropriate health screenings No Yes
Assess intellectual and social development No Yes
Provide age-appropriate information about child development including nutrition, exercise, sleep health, hygiene, and safety No Yes