SSM Health Medical Minute – Why now is the best time to get a sports physical

Medical Minute

ST. LOUIS – COVID-19 has forced the cancellation of most local sports leagues but parents are still encouraged to schedule sports physicals. Now is the right time and SSM Health Sports Medicine group says their clinics are extremely safe.

Katie Smith, outreach manager for SSM Health Sports Medicine Group, said in-person visits had been on hold for the time being.

“We’re encouraging families to bring their kids in for their well-child visits and sports physicals,” she said.

SSM Health offices have put many precautions in place to ensure visits are safe.

Patients will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before they enter and chairs will be spaced out in waiting rooms and lobbies so people can maintain social distance. Appointment times are spread out to make sure fewer people are in the office and everyone will be required to wear a mask.

“We catch a lot of underlying conditions for kids during these appointments, as well as making sure they are in good physical condition to return to sports, since it has been quite some time since these kids have participated in sports,” Smith said.

While requirements on sports physicals vary by districts and associations, these examinations all provide an opportunity for clinicians to discuss important health issues with guardians and children, and to ensure that the individual is healthy and physically prepared to perform.

The cancellations of regular sports teams from COVID-19 actually means kids have not had the same level of physical training and activity for the past several months, so the peace of mind from getting physical can help guide parents on how to build endurance back and make sure their child does not suffer an injury.

Physical examinations also provide an opportunity to review the individual’s complete health history and developmental milestones and ensure he or she is up-to-date with current immunization recommendations for their age.

Sports physicals are available at many of SSM Health Urgent Care and Express Clinic locations, as well as at our SSM Health Express Clinics at Walgreens. Call a location near you for more information and to confirm the availability of this service.

To find a location for setting a sports physical appointment, click here.

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