Kids’ Sports Physicals: What’s Your Game Plan?

April 01, 2013

It’s back-to-school season, and coaches are ready to get kids on the field. But before you rush into an urgent care center to fit in a sports physical for your child, rethink your options. His or her primary care physician may be a better choice.

Going to the doctor who knows your child best

“A sports physical performed at a walk-in clinic gives just a snapshot of your child’s health — it’s not complete,” explains Aliya Kohler, M.D., a family medicine physician for Henry Ford Medical Center – Commerce. “Although these clinics serve an important role, seeing your child’s primary doctor for a sports physical provides a more in-depth evaluation.”

Aaron Daniel, M.D., a Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital primary care physician board- certified in internal medicine and pediatrics, agrees. “Your child’s pediatrician or your family doctor evaluates your child from a global perspective, understanding his or her health and treatment history.”

Detecting issues from head to toe

During a sports physical, your child’s doctor will rule out potentially life-threatening issues such as heart problems. He or she will also help maximize your child’s sports potential by addressing other, sometimes less obvious, health concerns.

“Anything that affects children’s health can affect their sports performance,” says Dr. Daniel. “For example, if a child’s attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication is not at the right level, his or her play may also suffer. We look at the whole picture.”

Your child’s doctor will also provide guidance on preventing and treating injuries. “Concussion is a major risk among young athletes,” says Dr. Kohler.

“We help parents understand the subtle signs of concussion and know what to do about them.”

The bottom line? It’s wise to make the most of your child’s sports physical. For the best care, see your child’s doctor.

Call, Click or Come In!

We make it simple for your child to get the proper care throughout the school year. Here are some easy options:

  • Call 1-800-HENRYFORD (1-800-436-7936) to schedule a same-day primary care visit. We offer extended hours Monday through Friday as well as Saturday appointments.
  • Come in to one of our Walk-In Clinics at select Henry Ford Medical Centers. Or head to your local CVS MinuteClinic affiliated with Henry Ford Health System.