Published on June 10, 2019

Student Athletes Encouraged to Schedule Annual Physicals

PELLA, Iowa— School is out for the summer and Pella Regional Health Center is encouraging parents of student athletes to schedule annual well-child exams this summer to complete the sport physical form needed for their child’s athletic activities for the upcoming school year. If a child has already had a wellness physical this year, sport physical forms can be dropped off at any Pella Regional medical clinic and be completed with no appointment needed.

Pella Regional staff members believe that a well-child exam is more comprehensive than a sport physical and offers well-child exams rather than sport physicals for a variety of reasons.

During a well-child exam, Pella Regional physicians address a child’s overall well-being, which often includes things that are unrelated to sports. With a primary care provider, the child receives a full exam with someone who knows their child and their family.

What happens during a sport physical?

  • Review child’s medical history.
  • Check the child’s weight and height.
  • Check blood pressure.
  • Listen to the heart while the child is standing up and lying down.
  • Check the child’s muscles, bones and joints for issues that could be a problem.

What happens during a well-child exam?

  • Review child’s medical history.
  • Address questions and concerns from the parents or child.
  • Review medications.
  • A physical exam (more detailed than a sports physical).
  • Check height and weight, and compare those to measurements from prior well child exams to see how a child/teen is growing.
  • Developmental screenings.
  • Review preventative care.
  • Other screening and lab tests due for the child. These can include (but are not limited to): hearing and vision screening; screening for anemia; screening for high cholesterol; and screening for depression and other mental health issues.
  • Creating a plan of care for any problems found.
  • Referrals, if needed.
  • Immunizations, if needed.
  • Age-appropriate wellness education including diet, sleep, school, interpersonal and family behaviors and safety.

The parents can be present at the visit so they can get information and ask questions about their child’s:

  • Development
  • Nutritional status
  • Chronic medical issues
  • Past injuries and how they relate to the sport in which he is planning to participate

By having their child's primary care physician perform the well-child exam all medical records are together and can be reviewed for past concerns that may have otherwise been forgotten. Depending on insurance, a well-child exam may be covered under preventative care.

To schedule a child’s annual well-child appointment, go to www.pellahealth.org/annualphysical to request an appointment today, or call 641-621-2200.