Student athletes of all ages are often asked to get a sport physical. This is a special type of physical exam geared toward athletes. It certifies that your child is healthy enough for physical activity and that they're up to date on all their required shots. If your child is new to athletics, you may not know where to get them the doctor's appointment they need. Some pediatricians don't provide sport physicals, but fortunately a sport physical service will be able to help. Here are three things you should know before going to the doctor:
1. Make an appointment ahead of time.
Some sport physical services see patients on a walk-in basis, but when you rely on walk-in clinics, you never know how busy the doctor's office is going to be. If you arrive on a day when your sports physician has many patients, you may end up waiting for a long time. On extremely busy days, you may not be seen at all, and you'll have to come back. Whenever possible, it's best to call ahead of time and schedule an appointment in advance. This guarantees that the doctor will be able to see you, and you'll be in and out as quick as possible.
2. Plan for your child to get vaccinated.
Some schools require that all their athletes get certain vaccines before playing on the team. Student athletes often share close quarters in locker rooms and on the court or field. Vaccines ensure that the whole team stays as healthy as possible. If your child is behind on their shots, the doctor conducting their exam will be able to administer any necessary vaccines. Bring your child's vaccination records if the sport physician isn't your child's primary care doctor.
3. Bring all the necessary paperwork.
Most coaches want their student athletes to get checked out by a sport medicine doctor before the year starts. This helps minimize the school's liability, and it can keep your child healthy and safe. When your child signs up for an athletics team, they will probably be sent home with forms. Some of the forms are for you to fill out, but some need to be filled out by your child's doctor. Sport physical services employ doctors who are used to these forms, so they'll know exactly what to do. In the interest of saving time, make sure you bring all the forms with you so you don't need to make a return trip.
To learn more, contact a pediatric office like Port City Pediatrics.
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