Sports Physicals | Richmond, VA


What is a Sports Physical?

A sports physical is a medical examination that helps determine whether it’s safe for your child to participate in a sport, camp or activity. Most states require that kids and teens have a sports physical before they can start a new sport or begin a new competitive season. Even if a sports physical is not required, doctors highly recommend getting one. The sports physical ensures that your child’s health is sufficient for the physical activity required in the athletic program.

What to Expect at Your Child’s Sports Physical

It’s important for the medical professional conducting the physical to know if your teen has had any prior injuries (such as fractures, concussions, and heat illness), has any allergies or chronic conditions (such as asthma), any exercise-induced symptoms (such as fainting or chest pain) and a list of current medications (prescription and over-the-counter). These are typical questions that will be asked of your pre-teen or teen during his or her physical. Some other tests that will be performed during the physical include:

  • height
  • weight
  • assess respiration or breathing checks
  • abdomen checks
  • listen for heart murmurs
  • irregular heartbeat
  • test posture
  • test flexibility
  • test muscle strength
  • assess for up-to-date tetanus shot / administer if none

Why is a Sports Physical Important?

A sports physical can highlight certain health problems that might interfere with your child’s participation in a sport. If your child is prone to frequent asthma attacks, but is trying out for cross country or soccer, your doctor can prescribe a different type of inhaler or adjust the dosage so that he can breathe more easily when he runs.

At Swift Creek Pediatrics, we love keeping our young adults active and healthy. We can offer some good training tips and give your child some ways to avoid injuries. We may recommend certain stretching or strengthening activities that help prevent injuries. We can also identify risk factors that are linked to specific sports.

If your child is injured during a sporting event or game, and we have completed a sports physical for him/her, that will enable us to diagnose an injury or refer your child to the appropriate doctor for further evaluation and care.

Tips for Game Time

Swift Creek Pediatrics offers some pre-game tips to keep your child healthy and able to stay in the game.

Before the Game

  • Make sure your child is well rested
  • Eat a healthy meal with lean protein and carbohydrates
  • Dress accordingly for the weather
  • Always warm up with a light job and gentle stretching before games

During the Game

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Take breaks when needed
  • Pay attention to proper body form as to not overextend the body or strain a muscle

After the Game

  • Cool down to slowly bring heart rate back to resting levels
  • Eat protein to help muscles recover and build
  • Ice down any sore muscles or joints and rest
  • Get adequate sleep for optimum restoration

Care With Your Child in Mind