Jun 1, 2017

Posted by in Family Practice, General | 0 Comments

Athletes: Get in Early for your Physical

Athletes--Get-in-early-for-physical-with-borderIf you are the parent of a young athlete, you’re likely familiar with sports physicals. You’ve seen the ads for them: short wait times, no appointment needed, possibly even a donation to the school. And, you get that form filled out for school, which is the whole goal.

Super convenient and my world needs a bit more “super convenient” in it. But, is the goal to get the form filled out? The real, true goal is to make sure these kiddos are healthy and doing well so they can participate in school activities.

That’s where the quick-stop sports physical falls short.

There is a difference between a sport physical and a well-child exam. A well-child exam is a comprehensive check-up. During a well-child exam, Pella Regional physicians address a child’s overall well-being, which often includes things that are unrelated to sports. With a primary care provider, the child receives a full exam with someone who knows your child and your family.

Here’s another big benefit of a well-child exam… it may even be free for you. I know, it’s hard to believe. But, depending on your insurance, a well-child exam may be covered under preventative care. Woo Hoo!

Here’s a breakdown of a sports physical vs a well-child exam:

Sport Physical

  • Review child’s medical history.
  • Check the child’s weight and height.
  • Check blood pressure.
  • Listen to the heart while the child is standing up and lying down.
  • Check the child’s muscles, bones and joints for issues that could be a problem.

Well-child Exam

  • Review child’s medical history.
  • Address questions and concerns from the parents or child.
  • Review medications.
  • A physical exam (more detailed than a sports physical).
  • Check height and weight, and compare those to measurements from prior well child exams to see how a child/teen is growing.
  • Developmental screenings.
  • Review preventative care.
  • Other screening and lab tests due for the child. These can include (but are not limited to): hearing and vision screening; screening for anemia; screening for high cholesterol; and screening for depression and other mental health issues.
  • Creating a plan of care for any problems found.
  • Referrals, if needed.
  • Immunizations, if needed.
  • Age-appropriate wellness education including diet, sleep, school, interpersonal and family behaviors and safety.

There’s an obvious difference in the quality of appointment the athlete gets. Plus, the form still gets filled out. Plus, there may be no out-of-pocket cost. Sounds good to me!

Don’t wait. The appointments in our medical clinics fill up quickly with these well-exams. Go to www.pellahealth.org/annualphysical to request an appointment today!

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