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Schedule Your Child's Sports Physical

Make sure your child is healthy and ready to participate before the first practice.


There’s no better time for a check-up than the offseason. Before the competition heats up, create space in the calendar for a sports physical with the family physicians and pediatricians at The Iowa Clinic.

While it’s always important to check in on the health and growth of your child, a sports physical ensures your child can safely participate in their growing list of activities.

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Sports Physicals Near You

Clinic locations throughout Central Iowa mean you can find a quick, convenient sports physical anywhere in the Des Moines metro.

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Any Sport, Any Season

Providers are available year-round to assess your child's health and physical fitness to clear them for sports.

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5-Star Care for Your All-Star

From the head to the heart, we check your young athlete's whole body to make sure they're ready to compete.

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Common Parent Questions About Sports Physicals

Are sports physical exams required?

Schools, camps and club teams in Des Moines and beyond require pre-participation sports physicals. This ensures every athlete is medically-cleared to participate in the sports or activities they choose.

What happens at a sports physical?

Sports physicals are performed to avoid problems before they occur. Your doctor will check your young athlete for signs and symptoms of potentially dangerous heart and lung problems. They will also assess athletes for injuries they may have sustained during the past year. Your provider can help identify any possible medical concerns and share valuable information about staying safe so your child can stay in the game.

Is a sports physical different than a school physical?

A sports physical is the same annual exam used for school and annual wellness checks. So while there are special considerations given for participation in sports, your doctor will also assess the general health, growth and development of your child.

When’s the best time for a sports physical?

Many schools and programs follow a seasonal schedule and request physical forms before the start of the school year in the fall. However, most teams allow you to submit a physical form up to the start of the season. 

The best time to schedule a sports physical will depend on your child’s activities and when they begin. Sports physicals are valid for 12 months, so if your child has one before the season starts, it will last until the same time the next year. Timing the annual physical for when they have the longest break will ensure your child doesn’t miss a game or practice.

Getting sports physicals done early in the offseason allows your doctor to complete any necessary testing or treatment. It also provides time for young athletes to treat and recover from nagging injuries, complete physical therapy that might help and prepare their bodies for the upcoming season.

How can I prepare for my child’s sports physical?

Prepping for your child’s annual physical takes no more than a few minutes. Simply spend some time thinking about your child’s health and development over the past year — especially if there were injuries or issues stemming from their sport. Bring a list of questions or concerns to the appointment.

If there are changes to insurance, family medical history or your child’s health history, bring along updated cards or documents. And if you’re coming to The Iowa Clinic for the first time, contact your previous clinic to transfer medical and immunization records

Does my child have to be a patient to get a sports physical?

Even if your kid is not an established patient, you can still schedule a sports physical with the provider of your choice. Once you choose a family doctor or pediatrician for the physical, you can establish a relationship with that provider for continued care for your kid. 

This is especially important with sports. If an injury occurs during the season, you have someone who already knows your child’s health history and can get them the help they need to get back in the game. 

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