What You Should Know About Sports Physicals
Have you ever wondered what a sports physical is and why your child’s school or sports coach recommends it? A sports physical is the best way for a doctor to determine if your child is healthy enough to play a sport. Sometimes kids have undiagnosed issues that could either flare up during play or cause a problem playing at all. It gives you valuable peace of mind as a parent that your child is in good enough health to reap the benefits of playing a sport and not endure the risks.
What to Expect at a Sports Physical
Before examining your child, the doctor will ask about medical history. This will include questions such as:
- Does your child have any allergies?
- Do any immediate family members have a serious illness or have they had one in the past?
- Has your child had any significant injuries such as a concussion, sprain or broken bone?
- What medications does your child currently take? This includes both prescription and non-prescription.
- Has your child ever lost consciousness, had difficulty breathing while exercising, felt dizzy for an extended period or experienced chest pain?
You also shouldn’t hesitate to inform the doctor of any other health conditions your child may have. This makes it easier to determine if any potential medical problems exist that would prevent participation in a sport. The doctor will complete the following for the exam portion:
- Check vision, heart, lungs, ears, nose, throat and abdomen.
- Record height, weight and blood pressure.
- Move your child’s joints and limbs to check for stability.
Reduces the Risk of Injury and Allows Better Planning for Coaches
Discovering a medical condition before the season begins is essential because it dramatically reduces the chance of injury. Many parents feel surprised to learn that 60 percent of children’s sports injuries happen during practice and not a game. That means you should schedule the sports physical before the first practice.
Coaches need to know about pre-existing medical conditions and injuries to help kids stay safe. For example, a coach shouldn’t push a child with asthma to continue exercising when it’s clear that they are struggling to breathe. The only way a coach has access to this information is if you have a medical report from a doctor and allow the coach to see it.
Don’t Delay in Scheduling Your Child’s Sports Physical
With most schools already in session for the 2018-2019 school year, your child’s regular doctor may have a booked schedule for weeks. Did you know that we complete sports physicals here at PrimeCare Urgent Care in Athens, Georgia? Like all types of appointments, you can simply walk in to request a sports physical or reserve your time online. With extended availability seven days a week, you can avoid the long wait for an appointment you’re sure to have elsewhere.