Difference Between A School Physical and A Sports Physical

Crunchy red apple and a doctor’s stethoscope

It’s been a weird year. Our kids have been sheltering at home since March with little structure – no in-person school, no sports and no activities. Every day seems to be Blursday, which means you might not be aware that there are only weeks until school starts – and sports conditioning may be starting immediately!

Your child needs their school and sports physical to begin practice and conditioning and to attend school again in the fall. Alzein Pediatrics is here for in-person appointments, following the strictest covid-19 precautions, to help your child start school and sports off on the right foot.


What happens at a school physical?

A school physical is also a wellness visit, so by scheduling a school physical, you’re also taking care of your child’s annual healthy check up. At a school physical, we’ll check your child’s:

  • Height and weight
  • Vision
  • Heart, pulse and blood pressure
  • Eyes, ears, nose and throat
  • Posture, joints, spine and bone development
  • Strength, flexibility and muscle development
  • Abdomen, chest and neck

We’ll go over your child’s immunization record and administer any vaccines or boosters needed. We’ll complete any forms your school requires and print out your child’s updated immunization record.


What happens at a sports physical?

A sports physical is focused on your child’s heart health, injury potential and family history as it relates to sports. Your Alzein medical provider will screen your child, their health history and your family’s health history for diseases, injuries and illnesses that could require treatment before playing or modifications while participating in sports. We’ll screen your child for:

  • Heart murmur, abnormal rhythm or other heart problems
  • Shortness of breath or chest pain when exercising
  • Liver and kidney problems
  • Epilepsy or seizures
  • Past injuries, concussions or surgeries
  • Bone, joint or spine alignment and mobility
  • Reflexes, coordination and strength
  • Asthma
  • Dizziness, fainting or headaches
  • Severe allergies

We will recommend a concussion screening to get a baseline reading. If your child does suffer a bump or injury to the head, we’ll be able to compare the baseline to subsequent tests to ensure your child has made a full recovery before returning to activity. We may request additional testing, such as blood tests, electrocardiogram or X-rays.

If she’s gone through puberty, we’ll screen your daughter for female athlete triad, a condition involving disordered eating, menstrual irregularity and low bone density. We’ll screen your son for hernias. We’ll also talk to you and your child about prescriptions, over the counter or herbal medications and other supplements. We’ll discuss the need for healthy, proper nutrition.

Sports are gearing up and school is right around the corner. Get your child’s physicals scheduled now so you can enjoy the rest of the summer worry-free. If you’d like to complete your child’s school physical and sports physical at the same time, please make sure you let us know when you are making the appointment. We’ll need to schedule extra time to ensure a thorough and complete visit. Just click here or call 708-424-7600 today!

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