Many organized programs will require your child to receive a pre-participation physical exam before enrollment. Scheduling a physical exam prior to participation allows your child’s primary care provider, who already has extensive knowledge of your family’s health history, to identify any potential medical conditions that may put his or her health or well-being at risk.
Even if a program does not require a pre-participation physical exam, it is still a good idea to schedule an exam to determine whether or not it is safe for your child to participate. Beyond signing off on participation forms, Meriter physicians are committed to continued monitoring of your child’s growth and development, performing comprehensive health assessments, making sure vaccinations are up-to-date and providing guidance pertinent to participation.
Monitor Growth & Development
Your child’s primary care physician is the leader of his or her health care team, carefully monitoring your child’s growth and development throughout all ages and stages of life. Unlike an alternative provider, a primary care physician has the ability to track your child’s health over time, as well as comprehensive knowledge on any previous hospitalizations, medications, allergies or illnesses, such as asthma, epilepsy or diabetes, which may interfere with your child’s ability to safely participate in an activity.
Provide Comprehensive Health Assessment
Based on his or her knowledge of your child’s health history, his or her primary care physician will perform a comprehensive checkup to make sure there are no alarming changes since your last visit. Included in the exam is a head-to-toe health assessment of your child’s:
- Height and weight
- Blood pressure and pulse
- Heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat
- Posture, joints, strength and flexibility
If your child’s doctor does detect any abnormalities, he or she can prescribe the appropriate next steps to ensure your child is properly cared for or treated in a timely manner, so that he or she may still be able to safely participate in the activity on time.
Make Sure Vaccinations are Up-to-Date
Keeping current on vaccinations is important at any age, but it is especially important for children. Children require specific vaccinations at certain ages to create immunity to potentially harmful, even life-threatening, diseases. During your exam, your child’s primary care physician will make sure he or she is up-to-date with all vaccinations according to guidelines set by the CDC and required by schools.
Provide Guidance Around Participation
Your child’s pre-participation physical exam is also a great opportunity to ask any questions or express any concerns you may have about his or her physical or emotional well-being. In addition to serving as an important resource for your medical questions, your child’s physician will also be able to provide tips pertaining to injury prevention, training, nutrition and a range of other topics specifically designed to help your child become a stronger, healthier and safer participant.
Schedule Your Child’s Physical Exam at Meriter!
You and your doctor know your child – and your child’s health – better than anyone else. Schedule your child’s back-to-school or sports physical with his or her primary care physician today – it’s the most effective way to ensure your child is ready to safely participate in array of spring activities! Click here to request an appointment online.
Don’t have a primary care physician yet? Use our Find a Doctor tool to locate a family medicine doctor or pediatrician in your area, and schedule your child’s pre-participation physical exam today.