Walk-in clinics and schools offer cheap sports physicals, according to About.com. The Free Clinic of Southwest Washington, for example, states on its site that it offers free sports physicals as long as certain criteria, such as the child's insurance not covering sports physicals, are met.
Walk-in clinics and school sports physicals are better than nothing, but if possible, the child's doctor should do a physical, explains About.com. The child sees her doctor on a periodic basis, and the doctor's examination is more thorough.
During physicals at schools, students often go to one of many stations set up in the gym, notes TeensHealth. A medical professional runs each station and administers one portion of the physical. One part involves medical history questions on illnesses like asthma, medications, previous injuries and family history. The physical examination entails measuring height, weight, blood pressure and pulse and checking lung, heart and vision conditions, among other steps. Athletes should get physicals at least six weeks before they start playing so that they can follow up on issues and, if necessary, consult medical specialists. For example, someone with asthma may discover that she needs a different inhaler or a different dosage of her asthma inhaler medication.