Every year, millions of young students across the country look forward to playing sports whenever school starts. Whether it be for football, volleyball, or basketball, most schools require their student-athletes to have a yearly sports physical to ensure that they are fit for competition. Sports are a great way for children to get exercise, learn about cooperation and commitment, and operate in a team environment. They get to do all of this while having fun with friends. That is why making sure your child is up to date with their sports physical is a must.
At Tots N Teens Pediatrics, our healthcare professionals will analyze a whole host of factors to ensure that your child is fit for action. Their vitals, medical history, lifestyle, results of a physical exam, and past family medical history will all be reviewed to determine their status for competitive sports. However, some may not see how important sports physicals really are. Here are a few reasons these exams are so crucial:
Assess Their Physical Wellbeing: One of the more obvious reasons for taking your child for a sports physical is determining whether they are physically fit enough to actually play sports. Providers will exam the child’s body in order to see if it will be able to handle the amounts of strenuous physical activity it will be partaking in.
Determine Special Accommodations: Not every condition will force a provider to say that your child isn’t fit for physical activity. Oftentimes, a provider will clear your child but with a certain modification. This just means that your child may have a condition that may affect their performance, such as asthma, and a healthcare provider will provide them with the appropriate equipment, like a special inhaler or dosage, to help their performance. Most conditions won’t keep a child out of sports, but they will just need medical supervision or special gear or equipment.
Avoid Injury or Sickness: No matter what sport your child will play, injuries are always a high risk. Whether during practice or during a game, your child is at risk of suffering from sprains, strains, heatstroke, concussions, dehydration, or even broken bones. During their physical, a healthcare professional will monitor your child’s current status and past medical history and injuries to help you and your child take the necessary precautions to avoid future injuries. The physical provides you with a starting point and ways to improve on their overall health to better protect them from sickness or injury.
Monitor Your Child’s Health: Children are still growing all throughout their days in K-12 grades. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with everything going on in your child’s body. Frequently getting your child’s physical gives you the opportunity to notice any changes in their body over time that did not appear in past physicals. It often takes time for some conditions to make themselves known, so sports physicals are key at detecting them.
Sports physicals are extremely important at maintaining the health of your child before and during their sports season. While not all school districts require them, it is advised that all student-athletes should receive one.
It is also important to note that sports physicals, while similar, are not an appropriate substitute for their annual child exam. They do have similarities in areas they examine, but annual child exams are typically much more thorough and assess every area of a child’s health. If your child is getting ready to play sports whether in the summer or the coming fall, be sure to bring them to Tot N Teens for a yearly sports physical.