3001 Main Street, Suite 1C | Prescott Valley, AZ 86314
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19th Aug


What is the Difference between a Sports Physical and a Yearly Physical?

As more and more schools and chiropractic offices are offering to do Sports Physicals, we felt like we should explain the difference between a Sports Physical and a Well Child Exam or Yearly Physical. Many adolescents and their parents believe that a Sports Physical is equivalent to a Well Child Exam, but this is not true. The Sports Physical is designed to clear an athlete for participation in sports while the Well Exam includes much more.

A Sports Physical usually includes a physical examination and a brief discussion of the child’s
medical history. What is not included in a sports physical are developmental and immunization histories, long-term health concerns and risk factors, and advice for developing a healthy lifestyle.

A Well Child Exam usually includes a complete physical examination (including vision and hearing screening), a discussion of the child’s medical history, weight, height and body mass index, childhood nutrition, sleep habits, physical development and activity, social development and activity, cognitive development and academics, risks to health and safety, status of chronic conditions, immunization update, preventive health recommendations, and adolescent issues. It is also our opportunity to discuss important topics such as peer pressure, avoiding drugs, tobacco and alcohol. It helps us to develop an open, trusting relationship with you and your child so you can turn to us with questions or concerns regarding puberty, normal development or any medical concerns.

To summarize the difference, there is no such thing as a quickie physical or just a simple Sports Physical. Eliminating recommended components of the Well Child Exam/Yearly Physical is poor quality care. We follow the American Academy of Pediatrics Bright Future Schedule that includes the recommendations relating to the frequency and general content of Yearly Well Child Exams.


With the new insurance regulations that are now in effect, most insurance companies will cover your child’s Yearly Well Child Exams. This, of course, depends on your individual policy and we suggest you contact your insurance company for complete policy details.


If you need to have a Sports Participation Form filled out and your child has had a yearly physical examination in the past 12 months, we can complete this form for a small fee without your child needing to have another physical done. We will complete the form based on the most recent yearly physical examination.  Prior to dropping off the form, please complete all “parent” sections. We cannot fill out our part unless your section has been completed first. Please allow 3 business days for your form to be completed. If you require the form sooner than the 3 business days, there will be additional charges for urgent requests. If you have not had your Yearly Well Visit done in our office, we will not be able to complete any forms until we have done a physical exam.

Here at Yavapai Pediatrics we want your child to be as healthy as possible. We feel that regularly scheduled Yearly Well Exams help to ensure that your child is growing and developing well. These visits allow us a chance to find and treat any concerns early.  Please help us provide a bright future for your child.

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