Time for summer physicals

by Mary Rains

Mille Lacs Health System

No one wants to think about school during the summer break, but something important to remember is that summer is a good time to get a sports physical for your child if they play sports in school.

If your student athlete has not gotten their physical yet for the upcoming academic year, now is a great time to think about scheduling that before the fall rush. Having a sports physical allows the student to speak with his or her healthcare provider and talk about any concerns they have, and identify possible issues before those issues block an active and productive season.

A successful season starts with a healthy student athlete. Students need to be medically evaluated and deemed physically fit in order to participate in school sports. Starting in seventh grade (or the first time a student in Jr. High/High School plays sports) sports physicals are a Minnesota State High School League requirement, and are necessary thereafter every three years.

Sports physicals and regular physicals can be scheduled so that both can occur at the same time. It’s important to get the physical done as soon as possible, because if any follow-up care or testing has to be done, it should be completed before the sports season begins.

If you live in the Mille Lacs area, you can schedule your child’s sports physical at any of the neighborhood clinics, or on the Onamia campus, by calling 320-532-3154. Be sure to complete and bring the necessary forms with the student athlete, which will save time at the appointment. You can get those at the Mille Lacs Health System website. Click on the Patient Portal, then “Forms for Download.” It’s best to fill out some of the form with your child, so they can accurately answer some of the health questions based on the latest experiences they may have had. If you bring in the letter that you download, use it as a coupon so that the “out of pocket” expense – whether it’s self-pay, or what’s left after your insurance is billed – will only be $60. (Some insurance companies may pay for the entire visit; MLHS will bill insurance for you.) This is a substantial savings benefit.

The MLHS Sports physical includes: physical/well-child exam, hematocrit/lab/, vision and hearing screenings, and immunizations.