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Why Does My Child Need a Sports Physical?

With the fall sports season upon us, it’s important to make sure your child is prepared before the first practice of the season. Depending on your school district, your child will need to undergo a sports physical, separate from the school physical, prior to the first practice or tryouts for the season. A sports physical is critical to keeping your child safe and making sure they are able to participate without a dramatic increase in injury risk. Learn what to expect during the examination and why they are important to student safety!

What to Expect During the Physical

A sports physical occurs in two parts: a review of the patient’s medical history and an examination to determine if the patient is physically healthy enough to participate in athletics.

Medical History

The physician will ask questions about the athlete’s medical history, including serious illnesses present in the immediate family and major injuries sustained in the past. This will be covered again during the physical so that your doctor can ensure that everything has healed correctly. Your doctor will also ask about prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking as well as conditions you may have, including asthma, allergies and diabetes.


A sports physical starts off similarly to a routine checkup: your height, weight and blood pressure will be taken and noted in your records, and your vision will be checked with and without corrective lenses. Your doctor will then check your flexibility, reflexes and posture to determine if there are factors that can affect your ability to participate in sports. Your heart, lungs, throat and ears will be examined as well for undetected issues. Previous injuries, especially to bones, muscles and joints, will be checked to ensure everything has healed correctly without causing you pain during movement.

What happens if there is an undetected injury?

If a condition or injury is diagnosed during your sports physical, the doctor performing it will be able to provide treatment or refer you to your primary care physician or a specialist as needed.

Sports Physicals in Cedar Grove, NJ

If you are getting ready for fall sports and still need a physical, visit AFC Urgent Care Cedar Grove today! Our urgent care center accepts walk-in patients seven days a week, and we offer evening and weekend hours to accommodate your schedule. Most major insurance plans are accepted. For more information about our services, please call (973) 239-2300.