Sports Physicals

Get Ready for the Season

Help your child get ready for the sports season with a sports physical. This physical exam ensures students can safely play sports. Most school and sports organizations require student athletes to complete a physical before they can participate.

Where Can I Get a Physical?

Pediatric primary care, family medicine or orthopedic care providers can offer these exams. Contact your Sanford Health clinic for more information. Students can also get a sports physical from their regular doctor during a well child visit.

Schedule a wellness visit online at My Sanford Chart. Select Visits in the navigation and click Schedule an Appointment. Then select Wellness Visit and follow the prompts. 

We host regular sports physical events at convenient locations. Find an event near you.

What is a Sports Physical?

Sports physicals are also called pre-participation physical examinations (PPE). These visits help catch health problems before they become serious issues. During a sports physical, students meet with a health care provider.

Your provider will check:

  • Medical history, including past illnesses, surgeries, injuries and concussions
  • Height and weight
  • Heart health
  • Respiratory health

Heart and lung problems can keep children from safely playing a sport. These issues can go unnoticed without a trained professional looking for them.

Sports physicals also give parents and children the opportunity to discuss sports safety and injury prevention with an expert. They’ll go over concussion symptoms, safety gear, signs of dehydration and more. Providers may ask questions about the child’s lifestyle, including smoking, vaping and use of alcohol, drugs, nutrition supplements or performance-enhancing supplements.

Sports Physicals Near You

Sanford Health has clinics across the region. Find a location close to home for convenient appointment options.

Sports Physical FAQs

What usually happens during a sports physical?

During a sports physical, a health care provider will review medical history, including illnesses, injuries or concussions. They will also complete a physical exam and assess heart and respiratory health. This visit helps determine if children can sustain physical exercise without putting themselves at risk for cardiovascular or breathing concerns.

Typically, a sports physical exam is good for one year.

What is the difference between a well child visit and a sports physical?

Well child visits (or annual checkups) also qualify as a sports physical. Your child’s regular pediatrician or family medicine doctor can perform a sports physical, which checks for undiagnosed medical issues before they become problems while playing sports.

A well child visit also includes a review of immunizations, family history, and physical, cogitative, emotional and social development.

How much is a sports physical?

Sports physical exams aren’t always covered by insurance but are low-cost options to check your child’s health. Well child visits are usually completely covered by insurance.

What should I bring to a sports physical?

Please bring school-provided forms to your sports physical appointment with the parent portion completed.

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