Essentia Health encourages scheduling a sports physical for the 2023-24 school year

A sports physical is valid for one year. If it’s completed now, it will cover the 2023-2024 year.

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BRAINERD — While back-to-school may seem far off, if a child or children are participating in sports next year, it’s time to start thinking about scheduling a sports physical, Essentia Health reported.

A sports physical, also known as a preparticipation physical examination, helps determine whether it's safe for a child to participate in a certain sport. Most states, including North Dakota and Minnesota, require that student-athletes have a sports physical before they can start a new sport (including any practices) or begin a new competitive season. A sports physical is valid for one year. If it’s completed now, it will cover the 2023-2024 year.

Headline News from the Brainerd Dispatch

A sports physical can be completed on its own or as part of a well-child/teen visit. It is recommended a child have their physical at least six weeks before their sports season begins so there is enough time to follow up on something if necessary.

The form is available online at for Minnesota. A physical copy needs to be brought in when a child comes in for their physical. Non-Essentia patients are welcome.

During a sports physical, participants will learn:


  • Whether it is safe for their child to participate in a sport.
  • How to protect their child from injuries.
  • How to play safely with a medical condition or chronic illness.

In addition to getting the physical completed, a well-child/teen visit is one of the best ways to ensure a child is healthy and thriving.

Visits can be scheduled directly through a pediatrician or family medicine provider, schedule by calling 844-663-1068, online through or through Essentia MyChart patient portal.

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