Having regular physical exams done by a physician is essential to ensuring the healthy development of a child. Those who participate in sports may also require sports physicals, however, many people are unaware of the differences between a sports physical and a school physical exam.
The team at Surfside Urgent Care of Laguna Beach has explained the key differences between these two types of physical exams.
Differences Between Physical Exam Types
Sports physicals focus on preventing injuries
Although physicians may perform similar tests during a sports physical and a school physical, the focus of a sports physical is to flag potential injuries based on the physical condition of the individual. A healthcare professional will take the specific sport, which the athlete plans to participate in into account to provide information on injury prevention. One of the primary concerns during a sports physical exam is to reveal heart problems activated by vigorous activity. This is where routine physical exams can inform sports physicals, by providing a basis for one’s health history, and determining whether the individual should seek further screenings such as an X-ray.
School physicals monitor developmental changes
A yearly back-to-school visit to a physician for a physical exam allows parents to keep track of their child’s growth and development. As children grow older, they will experience changes in height, weight, and possibly other areas such as vision, hearing, and heart health. It is important to have a reputable healthcare professional conduct a full physical exam at least once a year in order to ensure the child is not at risk of any serious health problems, and make suggestions surrounding diet and exercise to help maintain the child’s health. Your physician may also be able to provide information surrounding important back-to-school vaccinations.
Sports physicals are often mandatory
A sports physical exam is a valuable opportunity to learn how to train and perform while participating in a sport, to prevent injuries. Unlike a regular back-to-school physical, athletes may not be able to choose whether or not they seek out a sports physical exam. Many sports teams will require participants to obtain a sports physical well before they begin training.
School physical exams, sports physicals, and routine visits to the pediatrician serve very different purposes, and one should never be used to replace another. To learn more about the services we offer, call us today at 949-715-7278!