southside pediatric

Sports Physicals

Pediatrics & Adolescent Health located in Petersburg, VA
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Sports Physicals services offered in Petersburg, VA

Sports physicals are a must-have type of medical care for all student-athletes in Virginia. At Southside Pediatric Center in Petersburg, Virginia, experienced board-certified pediatrician Mary Catherine Arrieta, MD, CPG, provides sports physicals to children prior to the start of their organized sport, whether it’s in school or an independent team. Click on the online scheduler or book your child’s appointment by calling the office now.

What are sports physicals?

A sports physical, or pre-participation physical exam (PPE), is a check-up that determines whether your child can play a sport safely. Southside Pediatric Center offers sports physicals for all children who want to play a sport. 

When might my child need a sports physical?

Virginia schools require a sports physical before children can participate in any aspect of school sports, including practices and tryouts. Non-school sports teams typically require this type of exam before participation as well. 

Dr. Arrieta also recommends a sports physical for any child starting a new exercise routine or sport at home. For example, if your child’s beginning a running routine, wants to join the local gym, or wants to take up a family sport.

Even when not required, a sports physical is important for your own peace of mind as a parent. This physical can help you worry less because you’ll know your child doesn’t have medical problems that could cause problems while playing their sport. 

It’s best to book your child’s sports physical about six weeks before they plan to start practicing or playing. If Dr. Arrieta finds any health issues, you’ll then have enough time to help your child address the problems so they can still participate in their sport.

What happens in sports physicals?

Sports physicals are similar to well-child visits in some ways; however, a sports physical is a supplemental exam rather than a replacement. During a sports physical, Dr. Arrieta checks their: 

  • Vital signs
  • Height and weight
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Lung
  • Heart
  • Musculoskeletal system (muscles, bones, and joints)

Dr. Arrieta also reviews your child’s medical history to determine whether they can safely play sports. If your child is due for immunizations, they can also have those during the sports physical visit. 

How long are sports physicals valid?

Your child’s sports physical results are valid for one year from the date of the exam. A child’s body changes considerably over the course of just one year, so it makes sense that you need the updated information gathered during annual exams to ensure your child is safe for sports participation.

If your child is gearing up to play basketball, football, soccer, or any other sport, schedule their sports physical soon. Call Southside Pediatric Center or click on the online scheduling feature to book a sports physical today.