Before your child enrolls to play any sport, he or she should get a sports physical exam. Some schools conduct the screening, while others will need you to take the child for the exam. A sports physical ensures that your child is fit to play a specific sport. It screens for any health problems that could prove problematic when playing.
The exam is not a basis for discrimination of some children. Rather, it allows you, the doctor, and the coaches to know how best to protect your child while on the field.
Also called a pre-participation exam (PPE), a sports physical has many benefits, including:
It assesses your child’s current fitness and general health.
It screens for injuries, illnesses, and other potentially serious conditions.
It helps to ensure that any chronic medical conditions receive the needed attention.
The doctor identifies any conditions that could heighten your child’s risk of injuries.
The results are the basis for strategizing on how to avoid injuries while playing.
A sports physical promotes safe sports participation.
The doctor measures your child’s height and weight. He conducts a vision screening and checks the child’s blood pressure. Next, the doctor listens for the child’s heart and lungs.
The physician then looks or feels some parts of the child’s body. For example, he evaluates the muscles and joints to determine their flexibility. Boys are checked for the presence of a hernia or an issue with their testicles.
Your child’s medical history is also reviewed. The child’s vaccine record is also essential. If need be, the child may receive any vaccines the doctor deems useful and bring the record up to date.
A review of the child’s mental health also helps identify any stress, worry, and anxiety. Some may also have feelings of depression that need quick intervention.
The doctor then advises on the gear the child needs to protect him or her from injuries. You also get advice on the right exercises, diet, and lifestyle changes needed.
After knowing what to expect during the sports physical examination, you need to prepare for it. Start by gathering the child’s medical records. The records should detail any health problems and injuries your child has had.
You should also present the results of other examinations by dentists, ophthalmologists, or physicians. Let the doctor know of any serious illnesses that run in your family. Also, present the child’s vaccine records.
Be sure to inform the doctor of any current health concerns, even those that seem minor. For example, let the doctor know of any aches, pains, or cough. State the sport your child will be playing since each sport had its fitness demands.
Have this entire information ready, and complete the questionnaire presented. It will provide a basis for the doctor’s thorough examination.
Although there is no golden rule over when your child should have a sports physical, don’t let it sneak up on you just before the start of the sport. The best time to have it would be 6-8 weeks to the sports season. This timeframe presents a window for treatment or rehabilitation of any issues found. You also get time to see the doctor again for re-evaluation before the sports season starts.
Have your child’s sports physical conducted by Advanced Pediatrics PC. Visit us in Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, New York. You may also call us at 718-271-2600 to request an appointment.