Sports physicals help determine whether it is safe for your child or teen to participate in physical activity. Most schools require a sports physical and some schools even offer them to their students. But even if the school your child or teen attends doesn’t require a sports physical, we highly recommend that you have one completed anyway.

River Valley Pediatrics, your pediatric clinic in New Braunfels, talks about the importance of sports physicals.

Why are They Important?

A sports physical is performed to see if a student is ready for participation in a particular sport. It is important that students be screened for medical issues which can complicate and even threaten the life of a student if they participate in a particular sport.

For example, the risk of a sudden heart attack is greater in athletes than in the general population. Therefore, it is critical that we make sure students are in good physical condition before we allow them to play sports.

Where Do You Go to Get a Sports Physical?

In some schools, they offer them in a mass examination format where the students go from station to station. But most physical exams are done by pediatricians in private offices. Typically, they are performed about six weeks before the beginning of play begins so that any issues that are discovered can be properly dealt with.

What are the Goals of a Sports Physical?

Basically, a sports physical is done to determine the overall health of a student. They are assessed for general fitness and for sport-specific activities. The time is also used to educate and counsel about lifestyle choices and risk behaviors. The pediatrician will also ensure that vaccinations are up-to-date and will address concerns the student or the parents might have.

There are numerous medical conditions that need to be considered when a student wishes to play a sport. For example, your pediatrician will look for the presence of an enlarged spleen or if a student has had eating disorders, bleeding disorders or may be pregnant.

What is Involved in a Sports Physical?

The specifics of a sports physical depend largely on the provider performing the exam and the sport the student wishes to play. But there will be a physical exam and an examination of the student’s medical history.

Medical history is important because this is how you identify conditions that might affect the student’s ability to play a sport. Here are a few issues that will be discussed:

  • Past and current medical conditions
  • Injuries that have occurred in the past
  • Surgeries and hospitalizations
  • What medications the student is taking
  • Family history of illnesses and medical conditions

The exam will also determine the general health of the student. This means an evaluation of height and weight, blood pressure, heart rate, vision, lungs and so on.

Sports physicals are very beneficial and will give the parents peace of mind as they watch their children or teens participate in their favorite sports. Call River Valley Pediatrics for an appointment today.