Be ready to roll when practice starts

Summer is coming to an end and it’s time to get a sports physical scheduled with your pediatrician. Here’s why.

You need that form filled out and signed for your child to play sports, so you dash off to the local retail clinic. Sound familiar? Probably too familiar, according to Drew Duerson, M.D.

Dr. Duerson is a pediatrician with Norton Children’s Hospital Medical Associates – Shepherdsville, who also has a certificate of added qualification in sports medicine.

“People are busy today. And for most, a sports physical is all about getting that signature,” said Dr. Duerson.

The better choice for your child

Taking your child to your pediatrician instead of a “minute clinic” for a sports physical is the better choice because that may be the only time your child sees your pediatrician that year if he or she is healthy.

Dr. Duerson says it is important to establish a medical home for your child. Seeing your pediatrician at least once a year does that for you, and the sports physical is the perfect time to accomplish that if your child is otherwise healthy.

“When kids get to middle school and high school and they do not need as many immunizations, we sometimes tend to not see them as often as maybe we should,” Dr. Duerson said. “An annual physical with your primary care provider allows you to stay in touch with someone who has known your child his or her entire life and understands your child’s full medical history and can address any specific health concerns you have.”

The better choice for your bottom line

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance will cover one preventive wellness visit per year. By planning ahead, you can take advantage of this visit and get that sports physical paper signed at the same time. So not only will your child be better off, you can avoid paying out-of-pocket expenses at a retail clinic.

Make that appointment now

Dr. Duerson suggests planning ahead for your child’s appointment so you aren’t scrambling to meet a deadline.

To allow adequate time for scheduling, make your appointment six weeks in advance of when you need the form signed. This allows your child to be evaluated and gives you and your provider time to clear up any issues or injuries so that your young athlete is ready to go when practice starts.

“All in all, the goal is to make sure that your child is safe and physically able to participate in his or her sports,” Dr. Duerson said.

Ready to make your child’s sports physical appointment and don’t have a pediatrician? We can help you find one. Call (502) 629-KIDS.

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