Get your athlete ready.
Make sure your athlete is ready to participate in the sports they love. Schedule a sports physical at a Novant Health location in your area.
Who needs a sports physical?
Schools, athletic organizations, summer camps and recreational sports teams generally require student-athletes to complete a sports physical — also referred to as a preparticipation physical exam — before participating in team practices or athletic events.
Can I schedule a sports physical?
Novant Health primary care, family medicine, urgent care and sports medicine clinics have providers on staff trained to perform sports physicals. Wherever you live in the region, you'll find a Novant Health clinic that can help your athlete fulfill this requirement.
What happens at a sports physical?
When your child goes for a sports physical, your family physician or pediatrician will ask specific questions about your child's medical history. They may ask about a history of injuries, conditions such as asthma, allergic reactions and any medications your child currently takes. The physician will then perform the physical exam. They'll check :
- Height and weight
- Pulse rate and blood pressure
- Vision and hearing
- Heart and lung function
- Joint strength and flexibility
Is a sports physical the same as a well-child visit?
During a well-child visit, your child's overall health and well-being will be assessed. The primary purpose of a sports physical is to determine whether it's safe for your child to participate in sports.
How they're similar
A well-child visit and sports physical both include a physical exam and a review of your child's medical history. The physical exam portion includes measuring vitals such as heart rate, blood pressure, height and weight.
How they're different
Sports physicals focus specifically on your child's ability to participate in sports. Well-child visits are much more involved. A well-child visit also addresses topics such as:
- Immunizations and health screenings
- Intellectual and social developmental assessments
- Proper hygiene
- Sleep health
Why your child needs both
Sports physicals shouldn't replace your child's annual well-child checkup. The well-child visit is a more thorough exam. It covers the child's behavioral and emotional well-being and includes essential screenings and immunizations. Sometimes a well-child visit doesn’t cover all the requirements for a particular sport. Check with your Novant Health provider about scheduling a sports physical separately or at the same time as your child’s well visit.