physicals for summer camp
Healthy Living

Why Your Child Needs a Physical

Apr 12 2018

Physicals are often required for summer camp or school sports: here’s what you need to know.

Before your children go off to summer camp or hit the practice field for fall sports, they’ll need to get a physical exam. While this can seem like an inconvenience, kids physicals can help ensure their safety and well-being.

Why physicals are needed:

Sports and camp physicals can rule out medical conditions. These include heart, lung, neurological or musculoskeletal problems that have not yet been identified. Each year, hundreds of campers and athletes end up in hospital emergency departments due to reactions or complications to potentially life-threatening conditions. That’s why many states, including Ohio and Kentucky, require physical exams before children can participate in any physical activity at a school, camp or community organization.

Here’s what you can expect to happen in a child’s physical:

  • Review your child’s medical history.
  • Make note of any prescriptions, vitamins and dietary supplements.
  • Perform a complete exam that includes a check of your child’s heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat.
  • Take your child’s height and weight, and check blood pressure, pulse, respirations and oxygen saturation.
  • Test your child’s vision.
  • Examine all major joints, and test for strength and flexibility.
  • Offer information about concussions.
  • Complete the necessary participation forms (provided by the parent.)

If your child has an identified medical condition or has recently had an injury, your doctor may limit some activities or provide tips to prevent re-injury or harm.

What you should bring:

Be sure to bring any participation forms that the healthcare team will need to complete. Also, if your child wears glasses or contacts, bring those along, too.

If you need a doctor to complete your child’s physical, Mercy Health can help. Reach out to our team at 513-952-5000 or visit to find a caregiver near you today.

Click here to learn more about sports physicals from the Mercy Health team.

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