If your child underwent a sports physical through the school district, you might question whether a well-child visit with the pediatrician is necessary. The answer is quality, says Vanessa Chiapetta, M.D., of the Austin Diagnostic Clinic (ADC).
“Sports physicals performed through schools are very convenient. They are also very quick and inexpensive,”she says. “Time is short and so is money, so why not? There are a number of benefits of visiting the pediatrician for a well-child exam, rather than just undergoing a sports physical.”
Dr. Chiapetta explains that with your pediatrician, you receive a full assessment of your child’s specific needs with someone who knows him/her and your family. You are present at the visit, so you can get information and ask questions about your child’s development, nutritional status, chronic medical issues and past injuries and how they relate to the sport in which he is planning to participate.
In addition, Dr. Chiapetta continues, your pediatrician would be sure your child has appropriate immunizations at this visit, and can refill any chronic medications your child takes. Your pediatrician can also refer him/her to any specialists your child may need to see to be sure they are fit for the sport he/she chooses. The well-child exam can also be used as the school’s annual Sports Exam, if it is done after a certain date in the spring.(Check with your school for specific dates.) Maybe it is a little more work and/or money than the school’s sports physical, but ultimately the quality and education your well-child exam provides should beat convenience when it comes to your family’s health.