The physical fitness and the lessons of teamwork are bonuses gained by playing school sports. Over 38 million children in America are involved in team sports. The risk of being hurt is always a possibility. Casualties range from repetitive strains and ankle sprains that are relatively minor to exercise-induced asthma and heat stroke that are more serious. Allergic reactions to stinging insects near playing fields are problematic for some kids.
Children need to be prepared to avoid being hurt or getting sick while playing. Being prepared begins with a sports physical before participating. Health care providers assess whether or not the body is ready for the demands of playing.
In recent years, reports of deaths have pushed schools to require yearly sports physical exams before playing sports. Children at risk of playing sports with health problems are targeted. Having a physical before trying out for a sport is required in some states. Regardless of the requirement, having a sports physical is a good idea, especially if any symptoms mentioned in this article are prevalent.
A sports physical exam assesses the health and fitness of the child. Health care providers look for injuries or diseases that would make participation in sports unsafe.
Family physician, pediatricians, assistants, and nurse practitioners can do sports physicals and sign the necessary forms. Schools sometimes offer sports physicals. Stations are set up around the gym. Different medical tests are performed by health care providers in this instance. Sports physicals are not a replacement for annual physicals by the pediatrician.
Six weeks to two months before the season starts is the ideal time to have physicals done. That time frame provides for treatment of a condition, specialist references, or follow-up exams, if necessary, before a player is cleared to play.
A thorough medical history is taken. Inquiries will be made about injuries, hospitalization, and illness history that may prevent a child from playing or any limits to the amount of activity he or she can handle. Filling out a health history form may be requested. The child’s heart rate, blood pressure, height and weight will be checked.
Risk indicators include chest pains, fatigue or fainting, and shortness of breath while exercising. High blood pressure or a heart murmur discovered in the past, are causes of concern. A premature death history in the family, cardiovascular disease disability in family members under the age of 50, or other known heart condition occurrences may affect sports physical results.
The intentions of the physicals are to determine whether or not an athlete is healthy enough for participation in sports and to minimize sports-related injury risks. Clearance to safely train and compete is being sought. Identifying high-risk conditions and disorders that affect the ability to play is why sports physicals were designed. A safe level of activity may be determined that impacts performance. Future problems can be avoided, and rehabilitation of existing injury can take place.