Doctor: Yes, it's already time to get your kid's sports physical--and here's why

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - The fall may seem far away, but parents know the summer goes quickly.

Dr. Neal Spears with CHI St. Joseph Health says now is the time to begin thinking about scheduling your child's required sports physical to participate in school activities.

"If there is something wrong, say an indication of a heart murmur, we want to be able to get that straightened out before the child misses any part of the season," said Dr. Spears on First News at Four.

Plus, scheduling any appointment just before school starts can be difficult, thanks to the "August rush," as Dr. Spears calls it.

Furthermore, the sports physical has become lengthier and more complicated.

"Really, the best thing to do is tell your regular doctor at the yearly wellness check that you'll need a sports physical as well, so that way your doctor can just add on those few extra things," said Dr. Spears.

One of those added points is a mental health check. Patients are given a questionnaire.

"We're trying to detect early any signs of depression," said Dr. Spears.

But Dr. Spears admits that detecting mental health issues--or any issues--are more difficult for a doctor who isn't familiar with the patient. That's why he suggests having a regular physician for your child and using that physician for the sports physical.

See the video player above for the full conversation.