With more than 46 million kids participating in sports each year, making sure your child is okay to play is the first step before they hit the field, court, or track. Sports physicals are largely required by athletic leagues and schools − and for good reason. They raise awareness of any issues that may interfere with your child’s ability to participate in a sport.
Why Sports Physicals are Important
A sports physical, known as a pre-participation physical examination, helps to determine whether or not a child is physically able to participate in a sport safely. The intent of a sports physical is to:
- Assess your student athlete’s general health and current fitness level
- Screen for existing illnesses and injuries, including life-threatening conditions
- Help detect conditions or factors that could increase your athlete’s risk of illness or injury
- Ensure that any chronic medical conditions are appropriately managed
- Provide strategies to prevent injuries and promote safe participation in sports
What to Expect During a Sports Physical
A Family Medicine provider will check your child's vitals, joints, eyes, and flexibility. A medical history review will also be completed, as knowing about any past illnesses, surgeries, or conditions will help diagnose problems and prevent complications in the future.
It’s important to note that a sports physical does not take the place of a regular annual checkup or physical because a sports physical focuses on health history that may have a direct impact on a child’s ability to play a sport.
While a sports physical does typically cover much of what happens during an annual exam, it’s still important to schedule a separate annual checkup for your child in addition to any physicals that may be required for participation in sports.
Voyage Healthcare Offers Sports Physicals for Your Athlete
While you may not know for sure if or when school sports will begin this year, sports physicals are a requirement. Check with your child's school about its policy on sports physicals and schedule your child’s sports physical now to avoid a last-minute rush for appointments.