A sports physical helps determine whether it’s safe for an individual to participate in a particular sport. Most states require that small children and teenagers have a sports physical before they are cleared to begin a new sport. The sports physical must also be completed on an annual basis after the first year of starting the specific sport. It is best to get the sports physical six to eight weeks prior to the beginning or the sports season. In the sports medicine field, the sports physical exam is known as a Pre-participation physical examination or PPE. While anyone who in engaging in any organized sport, or any strenuous physical activity at all for that matter, could potentially get hurt it best to make sure you don’t begin this activity with any preexisting conditions or injuries. Where can you get a sports physical? The child’s or teenager’s pediatrician can perform the sports physical. General physician can perform the exam. It is common place for drug store chains to offer sports physicals. While the service is available, simple sports physicals should not take the place of an annual physical exam from your child’s pediatrician or from your general physician. What does a sports physical cover? Expect the doctor to inquire about any preexisting health conditions, and history of illness, or hospitalization. The physical part of the sports examination will include taking height and weight, pulse, heart rate, blood pressure, checking the lungs, testing of vision, testing hearing. The physician will also look at joint flexibility, mobility, and spinal alignment, and posture, screen cholesterol, obtain hemoglobin count, and perform a urinalysis. Immunizations will be given if needed.