Welcome to Spring! It is this time of year that it is important to plan ahead for your child or adolescent’s “Preparticipation Exam” or “Sports Physical”. MHSAA (Michigan High School Athletics Association) requires a sports physical for athletes competing in sports at school, usually starting in 6th or 7th grade. This is to facilitate screening for possible problems that could cause injury or, rarely, death during participation in sports. MHSAA has chosen a date of April 15 that the physical has to be after in order to be eligible for next school year. For example, your child would need a physical on or after April 15, 2019 to be eligible to participate in the 2019-2020 school year. Most schools require this to be on file prior to tryouts for the individual sport. This can cause some timing issues if your child already had their “Well Child Exam” or annual physical prior to that date. Some insurance companies require a full year to pass before they will cover another physical, but many only require that it be a new contract or calendar year, so check with your insurance to see if you are able to bring your athlete in for another exam. Annual physicals generally don’t even require a co-pay!
Many schools in the area offer a “Sports Physical” night in order to get your athlete’s form filled out, but this should not replace their annual physical in their doctor’s office. If the timing of your athlete’s physical is on track with the April 15 date requirement, they don’t even need to go to the school exam, we will review and sign off their form during their visit or after their visit if you didn’t bring the form to their appointment.
The advantages of bringing your athlete in to their regular doctor for their sports physicals are many:
- We have access to their previous records, so we can assess growth and nutrition
- We screen for mental health concerns, a quickly growing concern in our adolescent population
- We make sure their immunizations are up to date
- We can check blood work as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics at various ages
- We have records of previous evaluations done for things such as concussions, heart murmurs, etc.
- We have more privacy to offer for the exam and more time to spend on concerns
- We do more guidance regarding health and safety issues, and have more time to spend on any concerns
Call now and get your athlete scheduled. We can’t wait to see you! The earlier you call the better the chance to find a time that is convenient for you and your athlete. We have limited evening and Saturday morning options.