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Summer Playbook Should Include Children’s Sports Physicals

After the kids finish singing “no more pencils and no more books …” you know summer has started. The routine changes to staying up late and sleeping in. But, summer is a perfect time to schedule your children’s sports physicals.

Consider that many active kids have high school sports starting well before the school year. Plus, many kids may compete in local club sports. Add in camps, vacations, sleepovers, golf lessons and several other appointments, and schedules fill quickly.


Tight schedules can make it tough to squeeze everything in, and you certainly don’t want to miss the sports physicals. After all, most schools require students to undergo a sports participation physical with a health care provider.

Here are some tips to make the process easy and ensure your student athlete is ready for a great season.

5 tips to prepare for sports physicals

  1. There are many providers who provide sports physicals—medical and osteopathic doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and chiropractors. You can also visit an urgent care for sports physicals. The important thing is to find someone who will spend time with your child, get to know his or her history, examine their physical health and teach about wellness.
  2. You might be able to save money by making the sports physical part of your child’s annual well-child visit. Typically, the cost of a sports physical is low and can be paid by cash, check or credit card. Because the cost is so low, the provider likely won’t offer to bill your insurance. However, if your child is on Medicaid and you don’t have the money for the physical, ask if you can schedule a well-child check instead. This is covered by most insurances, including Medicaid. The well-child check is more comprehensive than the typical sports physical so you must mention this when you schedule. Check with your insurance provider for the details on what your cost may be.
  3. Choose a location where you can schedule an appointment, which includes Banner Urgent Care locations. This allows you to arrive at a set time, see your provider and be on your way. Sports physical clinics done on a first-come, first-serve basis can be convenient—if you arrive first.
  4. Bring the forms that your school requires to your appointment. Don’t assume the clinic will have your school’s paperwork on hand or you could be making a second trip back to get the required signatures.
  5. Take advantage of the time you have to ask questions of the health care provider. Does your child have nagging, sports-related injuries? Do you have concerns about recognizing a concussion? Do you need help discussing sensitive topics with your teen like eating disorders, drug and alcohol use or sexually transmitted diseases?
As school nears, plenty of things will fill your calendar. Get the sports physical out of the way now so your student athlete is ready to hit the field. Or pool. Or court. Or links. Or gridiron. Or pitch. Or whichever venue hosts your child’s sport of choice. And best wishes for a great season.

Did you know all of our Banner Urgent Care locations offer sports physicals?

Find an Urgent Care Location Near You →

This post was originally published June 2018 and has been updated.

Children's Health Sports Medicine Urgent Care

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