Many changes happen in children’s and teenagers’ health. By undergoing physical examinations, you can monitor their growth and development and attend to any potential health issues that could arise.
A regular physical exam is beneficial for young people. However, if they are active in sports and physical activities, a sports physical exam ensures their overall health on and off the field.
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Get Your Kids Ready for the Big Game
According to SafeKids.org, over sixty percent of sports-related injuries take place during practice as opposed to the actual game. And with over 45 million kids joining sports every year – whether it’s soccer, basketball, swimming, or gymnastics – the first step is to ensure that they are prepared for the game.
Pre-Participation Physical Examination (PPE)
PPE is commonly known as a sports physical. The ultimate goal of this type of wellness check is to conclude whether or not a child (or in some cases, adults) is physically capable of practicing a sport or any physical activity safely. The tests conducted to determine your or your child’s current health status.
Similar to a regular physical exam, a complete family medical background is assessed during a sports physical. Any preexisting injuries and your child’s current fitness condition will also be taken into consideration.
However, with a sports physical, the physician will analyze if certain preventative measures should be included in your care plan.
The focus of the exam are the following:
- Vision and hearing
- Cardiovascular health
- Blood pressure
- Muscular condition
- Bone health
- Flexibility and strength tests
If your physician sees any issues or circumstances that may put you or your child’s health and safety at risk, more comprehensive tests are conducted to confirm the findings. These medical tests will determine any congenital abnormalities.
Validity of Sports Physicals
Typically, they are valid for a whole calendar year. However, school administration or youth sports league in some states require one before every sports season. For important timings like this, check with official school administrators and sports coaches.
Regular Annual Checkups
This type of checkup covers the overall physical health. It also checks the general developmental and social aspects of children and teenagers. The physician will do a comprehensive review of your child’s medical history. A thorough assessment of your child’s social and cognitive achievements will also be checked. This step ensures that your child is developing properly in those vital areas of health.
Aside from the physical aspect, this type of medical exam is an opportunity for healthcare professionals to go over important topics with you and your child. These subject matters include puberty, dealing with peer pressure, diet, drugs and alcohol, establishing healthy relationships, and other essential adolescent issues.
Aside from those, a comprehensive physical exam of children and teenagers should include:
- Health background
- Behavioral screening
- Sleeping habits
- Preventative health measures
Can a Sports and Annual Physicals Be Done in the Same Visit?
Absolutely. Many physicians will happily conduct both. However, not all cases are the same. Some would schedule separate visits, especially if prior or current sports injuries need to be addressed. Call your healthcare provider first and get their expert recommendation.
Do All Kids and Teens Need a Sports Physical?
Any school-sanctioned sporting event requires the participants to complete a sports physical exam first. However, many recreational or club sports for kids and teens may also need this type of medical exam before they’re allowed to participate.
If you’re not sure of the exact requirements, check with your child’s coach or school administrators. They are your most trusted resource for any sports-related information.
Sports Physicals Shouldn’t Replace an Annual Checkup
Keep in mind that even though you or your child have already undergone a sports physical, it does not substitute your regular annual one. Sports physical exams focus on covering potential issues that joining a sport may bring. It’s also an excellent opportunity to prevent to discuss injury prevention.
Your child’s long-term health and development should always come first. With comprehensive and sports and annual physicals, you are protecting your little one’s well-being.
Additionally, everyone – no matter what the age is – should first consult with their trusted local healthcare professional if they are about to engage in a new sport or workout routine.