What Is a Sports Physical for Children and Teens?
School is back in session, and many students have started fall sports. Some competitive youth sports leagues and school sports teams require their players to schedule a sports physical.
The purpose of the physical is to determine whether a child or teen is healthy enough to play a sport safely. The healthcare checkup resembles a well-kid visit. Both families and sports leaders benefit from understanding the patient’s current health conditions.
What Is a Sports Physical?
A preparticipation physical evaluation (PPE) evaluates the general health of a patient to provide written approval for participation in a sport or activity.
While some schools and organizations require a sports physical, others do not. Even if it’s not required, consider scheduling an appointment before the season begins. It’s a good idea to understand your child’s health before they start a new or rigorous exercise routine.
What Does A Sports Physical Include?
The appointment typically includes a standard examination of health.
- Check blood pressure and pulse
- Evaluate joints and limbs for mobility, strength, and flexibility
- Record height and weight
- Check vision
- Examine ears, nose, and throat
- Discuss diet and healthy habits
The clinician may offer specialized examinations based on the patient’s health history. For example, if the patient has asthma or scoliosis, the provider may check those conditions or recommend an appointment with a specialist.
Can My Child Fail A Sports Physical?
A sports physical isn’t about passing or failing. Instead, it’s about managing your child’s health. If the healthcare provider identifies an issue that could make sports unsafe for your child, they will likely include follow-up action.
Your child may need to visit a specialist or follow a process to improve or resolve the health issue. If the child’s condition is so severe that they cannot safely participate in sports even with interventions, it’s best to have that information.
Your child’s health and safety impact their success and future. A sports physical provides valuable information to help you and the sports organization determine the best path forward.
What Are the Risks of a Sports Physical?
Some parents worry that a sports physical could hurt their child’s chances of making the team or even their college recruitment opportunities. However, sports physicals can give parents peace of mind.
If your child has a health condition that impacts their performance or makes them more susceptible to injury, that could hurt them more in the long run. The goal of the appointment is to simply understand your child’s health.
Don’t let fear keep you from valuable information. Plus, when you know about a problem, you can deal with it sooner instead of waiting for the problem to surface on the playing field. Your healthcare provider sees sports as a positive activity for your child and will work to resolve any issues to support your child’s health and sports goals.
Schedule Your Sports Visit
Founders Family Medicine offers sports physicals at our Castle Rock clinic. We work with families to maintain pediatric health. Our compassionate healthcare providers care about your family.