Sports physicals, also known as prep-participation exams, are required at most schools to determine if a child or adolescent is safe to participate in sports or physical activity. Some schools even provide a PPE. If it is not required by your child’s school to receive a sports physical, it is still highly recommended. Here are some reasons why your child should get a sports physical:
- Safe involvement in sports or physical activity is enhanced
- Life threatening heart problems, and other medical conditions will be identified
- Any condition that requires limited participation (such as a concussion) will be identified
- Uncontrolled blood pressure, lung conditions, or eating disorders that require a treatment plan will be identified.
- Unnecessary restrictions on participation in sports will be removed
- Children and adolescents will be recommended what sports would be appropriate for them to take place in according to their health
- Sports physicals also give doctors time to talk to your children about other important issues such as avoiding drugs and alcohol, eating healthy, and the importance of wearing a seat belts and other equipment for safety such as helmets
During a PPE the doctor or physician will address conditions that may restrict your child or adolescent from physical activity or sports. These include:
- Elbow dislocation
- Femur fracture
- Irregular heart beat
- Knee instability
- Abdominal mass
- And more
A sports physical includes:
- Vital signs
- Injury history
- General Exam
- Medical history
- Cardiovascular history
A sport physical or PPE once a year before school begins is highly recommended (and for most schools required). It should be completed at least six weeks before the athletic season starts to allow time to follow up if any health issues are identified during the PPE. Also, keep in mind even if the physical does not detect any problems, and your child or adolescent has health problems that emerge during the sports season, make sure they seek medical attention right away.
Overall, it is very important for your child or adolescent to get their PPE or sport physical every year before any physical activity to keep them safe and healthy. Take care of your child by keeping them healthy and active.