School and Sports Physicals
Schools often require physicals before children attend school for the first time,
or before starting a sport. These physicals often include two parts: the medical
history, and physical examination.
Click here to download the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools Sports Physical
Knowing a child's medical history before entering school or starting
a sport is key to identifying potential health problems early. The doctor will ask
- Serious illnesses among family members
- Illnesses the child has had or has now, such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy
- Previous hospitalizations or surgeries
- Allergies (e.g., insect bites)
- Past injuries (e.g., concussions, sprains or bone fractures)
- Whether the child has ever passed out, felt dizzy, had chest pain or had trouble
breathing during exercise
It's important to answer any questions about medical history accurately and honestly.
Most sports medicine doctors believe the medical history is the most important part
of the exam.
The physical exam includes:
- Height and weight measurements
- Blood pressure and pulse (heart rate and rhythm) reading
- Testing vision
- Checking the heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat
- Evaluating posture, joints, strength and flexibility
The doctor will ask questions about the use of drugs, alcohol or dietary supplements,
including steroids or other performance enhancers.
Some schools require a sport
physical to include an electrocardiogram (EKG) for all students. The test takes
about 10-minutes and measures the electrical activity of a person's heart. Electrodes,
that measure a person's heart rate and rhythm, are placed on the chest, arms and
legs. Note: EKGs are not painful.
At the end of the exam, the doctor
fills out and signs a form, in some cases recommend a follow-up exam, additional
tests or specific treatment for medical problems.