Without fail, I’m always down to the wire when it comes to annual sports physicals. They need to be turned in annually so you would think I would have a better handle on them by now but they seem to sneak up on me EVERY SINGLE YEAR. This typically stresses me out because then I’m scrambling for an appointment in between off days and practices. I’m sharing tips to make your life easier if you find yourself in a similar predicament trying to schedule a last-minute sports physical for your child.
Prep Your Paperwork
Go online and print off your sports physical forms with your child’s medical history before you arrive for your child’s sports physical or call ahead and make sure that the office has the forms available and arrive 15 minutes early to complete them.
Know Your Location Options
More Locations = More Appointment Options…which is perfect for procrastinator/deadline schedulers.
We had 2 options with St. Elizabeth Sports Medicine ( Erlanger at Griffin Elite and St. Elizabeth Sports Medicine at Florence locations.) At St. Elizabeth Sports Medicine, we needed about 1-2 days in advance to schedule an appointment and I was told that appointments last 10-15 minutes on average if there are not a lot of pre-existing medical concerns.
My kids were already familiar with the location at Griffin Elite from previous basketball leagues but we were really impressed with the inside that felt more like a spa instead of a typical medical office. I scheduled both of their appointments within minutes of each other to make the most of my time.
Find Out Your Payment Options
We had the option of cash or check for the $25 sports physical fee at St. Elizabeth Sports Medicine. I typically don’t carry cash so I was thankful for the check option.
Sports Physicals are NOT a Substitute for a Well Check
Sports Physicals are good for one year and they focus on specific areas of health related to playing sports. It’s still a good idea to also schedule an appointment with your primary doctor for a more comprehensive visit covering overall health including vaccines and conversations about drugs, and mental health concerns. I also think that an office visit is definitely more personal than a sports physical provided in stations in large groups. As a parent, I want the opportunity to ask questions and also be there if the doctor has any concerns that he expresses to my kids.
Let Them Hear It From the Doctor
One of the things that I appreciated from our sports physical appointment with Dr. Miller is that he explained everything that he was doing during the examination in ways that were relatable and easy for my kids to understand. He was open to questions that I had along the way and he also went over three specific areas for the boys to be mindful of when playing sports.
- Warm Ups to help limit injuries
- Concussions -Importance of Good Technique
You do not have to be knocked out unconscious for a concussion and it’s not ok to blow off bell ringing because the 2nd hit can cause more damage. Symptoms to watch-Foggy and dizzy / headache loss of balance / nauseated / can’t focus.
- Heat-Dr. Miller talked about the importance of acclimating to the hot weather which means don’t play video games in the ac all summer….. I might have cheered a little on that one! He also told them about the importance of drinking fluids all day and monitoring the color of their urine. He addressed the importance of letting a coach or trainer know if they feel sick from heat illness and not to have “Warrior Mentality” which is the attitude that you think that you need to be tough. He mentioned that if they feel ill and don’t say something they could even possibly pass out….again it was nice to hear a doctor addressing the peer pressure to act tough in sports and the importance of monitoring your health.
Don’t Forget to Make Another Copy
They will scan a copy at the office but I also HIGHLY recommend making another copy to keep at home before you turn in the forms to the school. I’ve had their physicals go MIA more than once when they have reached the school so save yourself the hassle and do some proactive measures on this one.
Make that Appointment!
If you haven’t already made your child’s sport physical appointment, you can find more information and phone numbers of each location from the St. Elizabeth Sports Medicine website.
This conversation is sponsored by St. Elizabeth Healthcare. All opinions are my own.
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