Well Child Exam vs. Sports Physical- What’s the Difference?

Well Child Exam vs. Sports Physical- What’s the Difference? 13August

Many parents believe that a Sports Physical is the equivalent of a Well Child Exam, however this is not the case. A sports Physical is designed to clear an athlete for participation in sports, while the Well Child Exam is a much more in-depth health examination. Although a Sport’s Physical is required to participate in many school sports, it is essential not to overlook the importance of scheduling a yearly Well Child Exam for your child. The good news is that both exams can be scheduled at the same visit!

What is a Sports Physical?
A Sports Physical focuses on a review of a child’s current health status and medical history to ensure they are healthy enough to play his or her sport. During this exam, a medical provider will review any preexisting injuries and assess the child’s current fitness level. Areas of focus during a Sports Physical usually include:

  • Height and weight
  • Vision and hearing
  • Heart health
  • Blood pressure
  • Muscle and bone health, flexibility and strength

What is a Well Child Exam?
A Well Child exam may also be referred to as an Annual Physical. This exam differs from a Sports Physical in that it focuses on not only a child’s physical health but also the developmental, emotional, and social aspects of health and well-being. A medical provider will complete a full physical examination and review family medical history to evaluate the need for preventive health measures. In addition, a thorough cognitive and social milestone assessment will be performed to ensure proper development in those areas. Other health topics such as drugs and alcohol, peer pressure, healthy relationships, and puberty may also be discussed. In addition, Well Child Exams include:

  • Complete physical examination
  • Health history
  • Immunization
  • Lab work, if needed
  • Behavioral and developmental screening, if needed
  • Nutrition and sleep habits
  • Preventive health
  • Adolescent issues

Scheduling an Exam
Sports Physicals and Well Child Exams are usually both a covered benefit through most insurance policies. You can also conveniently schedule both exams in one healthcare appointment. Individuals can schedule with a medical provider at Community Hospital Clinics in Wickenburg, Congress and Wittmann.

Safe Access to Local Healthcare
Wickenburg Community Hospital & Clinics is committed to providing our communities with safe access to healthcare close to home.  We continue to practice enhanced infection prevention practices during COVID-19. In addition to setting up clinical areas that comply with social distancing standards, temperature checks for patients and staff are completed upon arrival, and masks are required for all while on WCH healthcare campuses.

A few more processes have been added to patient visits including:

  • Well-Patient Appointment Hours
  • Curbside Registration
  • Telehealth offered for appropriate clinic visits


For more information about medical providers or scheduling please call.

928-668-1833 or visit our find a provider page

Primary Care

Community Hospital Clinics are located in Wickenburg, Wittmann, and Congress. We sincerely follow our mission to provide quality health and wellness services where the patient, family, and community come first.

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Our 8 bed Emergency Room department is fully staffed with emergency physicians, nurses, and ER specialists. Your wait time is typically measured in minutes not hours as in the larger metropolitan hospitals.

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Wickenburg Community Hospital provides a wide variety of surgical care and treatment. We serve a vibrant and active community who favors quality health care close to home.

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