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Well Child Exam vs Sports Physical – What is the difference?

During a Well Child Exam, the following are completed/reviewed:

  • Complete health history review
  • Physical examination
  • Various screenings which may include but are not limited to vision/hearing, anemia, blood pressure, depression or other mental health issues as appropriate
  • Discussion of the child’s weight, height and body mass index, nutrition, sleep habits, physical development and activity, risks to health and safety, status of chronic conditions
  • Immunization as needed
  • Preventive health recommendations
  • Creating a plan of care for any issues found
  • Discussion of adolescent issues including avoiding drugs, tobacco and alcohol
  • Referrals as needed
  • Develops an open, trusting relationship with the parents and patient so they can turn to the provider with questions or concerns during their child’s development

Sports Physicals:

Sports Physicals are designed to clear an athlete for participation in sports and include:

  • Physical examination
  • Medical history

For these reasons, children and adolescents are encouraged to have a Well Child Exam once per year, regardless of whether they play sports or not.