Throughout the rapid growth and changes that occur during childhood, routine physical exams tell your doctor whether growth and weight are normal, indicate whether your child has hit all their developmental milestones, and provide information about their risk for disease.
Annual physical exams give parents and doctors the time to talk about diet and exercise, the child’s level of stress, and behavioral concerns. The physical exam is more comprehensive in a routine physical than during a sick child visit, when the focus is on diagnosing a health problem and relieving symptoms.
The start of a new school year is also a good time to schedule an annual physical to assess growth and development. A school physical includes the following:
Every student in Texas who wants to participate in a sport — or some other extracurricular activities, like cheerleading — must have a pre-participation sports physical. They’ll also need a physical clearing them to return to athletic activities if they’ve suffered an injury or illness.
A sports exam includes a review of the child’s medical history and a complete examination, just like any other physical. After Dr. Jindal covers the basics, the rest of the physical focuses on making sure your child is healthy enough to participate in sports without being at risk for injury.
Dr. Jindal looks for any signs of inflammation or pain and evaluates bones, muscles, and joints for flexibility and strength. She’ll determine whether your child has any past or present injury, illness, or health condition that might worsen during athletic activities.
Examples of health concerns that may affect your child’s sports participation include skin infections, head injuries, unexplained fainting, viral infections, and previous fractures and sprains that haven’t healed.
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