What is a sports physical?
A sports physical is a physical exam specifically designed to evaluate your child’s candidacy for sports activity. Sports physicals are generally mandatory and must be performed before your child can begin fall or summer sports.
Sports physicals are important because they allow your doctor to identify anything that might put your child at increased risk of injury or illness.
What happens during a sports physical?
During a sports physical, your doctor performs a physical exam that evaluates your child’s weight, height, blood pressure, and heart rate. Next is an eye exam. Your doctor determines if your child is in need of prescription lenses or if changes should be made to their current pair.
The final part of a sports physical is the fitness test. During this part of the physical, your doctor checks your child’s lungs, heart, abdomen, flexibility, strength, and joints. Your doctor will also discuss aspects of your child’s medical and family history.
Your doctor checks for any physical limitations, as well as signs of underlying conditions like asthma, that might make sports activity too much of a risk.
How often do I need a sports physical?
Most states require annual sports physicals before your child can begin practice. Because children grow so rapidly, there can be a number of annual changes to bones, muscles, and joints that impact your child’s performance.
Annual sports physicals also allow your doctor to detect any areas that might be more prone to injury since the prior year’s physical.
How can I prepare for my child’s sports physical?
The first step you can take to prepare is discussing the sports physical with your child. You can help relieve any anxiety your child has about their physical by informing them of the process. You can also make sure they wear comfortable clothing and can move around as needed.
You should also be prepared to discuss your child’s medical and family history. Information like chronic conditions and previous injuries are especially important during a sports physical.
Sports physicals are a requirement for good reason. Annual sports physicals help you manage your child’s health risks and discuss ways to prevent sports-related injuries.
To get your child prepared for their next sports season, visit a Heal 360 office or book an appointment by phone or online today.