What to Expect During a Pediatric School Physical Examination

12 January 2024
 Categories: , Blog


As the new school year approaches, many young athletes are gearing up for tryouts and preseason training. Before they can participate, they must undergo a pediatric school physical examination. This physical examination is vital to ensure that student-athletes are in good health to play sports safely. Let's explore what pediatricians examine for during a school sports physical so you can be better prepared for your child's next visit.

Medical History

The initial part of any physical exam is usually a review of the patient's medical history. During a school physical examination, your child's pediatrician will ask about any previous medical conditions, surgeries, allergies, and medications. A thorough history enables the pediatrician to better understand any underlying medical problems that may affect your child's participation in sports.

Vital Signs

After taking a medical history, your child's pediatrician will check their vital signs. These include measuring their height, weight, blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate. The pediatrician may also measure your child's body mass index (BMI). These measurements help the pediatrician determine if your child is in good health and if they need to pay closer attention to any potential health problems.

Vision and Hearing Tests

Your child's pediatrician will check their vision and hearing during the physical exam. They may test how well your child can read letters on a chart (visual acuity test) and how well they can hear sounds (audiometry test). These test results will help the pediatrician determine if your child needs further evaluation or treatment.

Joint and Muscle Check

Next, the pediatrician will examine your child's joints, muscles, and flexibility. They will check the spine, knees, elbows, and ankles for any problems. They will also assess your child's strength, flexibility, and agility. This is particularly important for student-athletes as it helps prevent injuries and ensures they can physically handle the demands of their chosen sport.

Heart, Lungs, and Abdomen Examination

Finally, the pediatrician will examine your child's heart, lungs, and abdomen. They listen to their heart and lungs through a stethoscope. They will also examine the abdomen to ensure there are no signs of problems. These tests will help the pediatrician determine if any underlying medical issues must be addressed.

Pediatric school physical examinations are a vital part of ensuring the health and safety of student-athletes. Understanding what to expect during the examination can help ensure your child is properly prepared and make the visit less stressful. It's important to note that these exams are not just for student-athletes but can benefit any child who wishes to participate in physical activities. Make sure to arrange for a pediatric school physical examination for your child before they start their sports season to identify any potential health issues that could impact their performance.

For more information on pediatric school physical examinations, contact a professional near you.