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Pediatric pearls ... frantic physicals

MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- (Editors Note: This is the first in a series of articles about health and wellness issues for children from birth through adolescence. We have chosen topics that are frequently asked about in clinic, or that we have found many people just don't know. None of these articles can or should replace the one-on-one counsel of your health care provider.)

The first topic is sports physicals, mostly the how and when. Depending on what organization is hosting the sport you will need a sports physical every year or every other year. The Idaho High School Activities Association requires all new students, ninth graders and eleventh graders to have sports physicals. This also means students that have previously had a sports physical in ninth and eleventh grade do not need a new physical in tenth or twelfth grade. Mountain Home Air Force Youth Activities and the Boy and Girl Scouts require yearly sports/camp physicals.

The best time for sports physicals is at least three to four months before the first practice. I have seen many disappointed children miss almost their entire sports season waiting for sports clearance from a specialist because something was found during the sports physical. Another reason to come early is to avoid the yearly rush of last minute physicals. There are always a least a few children that have to miss a practice or two because they did not get their physicals in time and the schedules are full. One important tip to remember is that a sports physical is considered a "well" appointment, and Tri-care has a 30-day window to book the appointment (for example, if you want an appointment for July 1, call June 1).

Call 828-7900 for that sports physical appointment and have a safe summer.