As our children begin to move through school, they are presented with opportunities to play a variety of sports. Most states in the US require children to have a sports physical before they are allowed to train.
So, what is a sports physical?
A sports physical is known at the doctor’s office as a preparticipation physical evaluation (PPE). The sports physical exam allows us to know if it is safe for your child to participate in sports activities. A sports physical pays close attention to health history that may have a direct impact on a child’s sports involvement, and this exam is completed in addition to an annual wellness exam.
It is always important to have your sports physical exam with your child’s primary care doctor as they are fully aware of your child’s medical history.
The physical is made up of two elements: the medical history review, and the physical exam.
The medical history review goes over:
- medical problems that run in the family
- medical problems and illnesses that you have, such as asthma, diabetes, or COVID-19
- previous hospitalizations or surgeries
- allergies (to insect bites, for example)
- past injuries (including concussions, sprains, or broken bones)
- whether you’ve ever passed out, felt dizzy, had chest pain, or had trouble breathing during exercise
- any medicines that you are taking (including over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, and prescription medications)
During the physical exam, the doctor will usually:
- record your height and weight
- check your blood pressure and pulse (heart rate and rhythm)
- test your vision
- check your heart and lungs
- examine your muscles, bones, and joints
This visit is also your chance to ask questions about your health, diet, and playing sports.
Boys will be asked about testicle pain and girls will be asked about their periods. Boys will be screened for hernias, which is an exam that requires the doctor to check your child’s private area, so take a moment to discuss this with your child before the visit.
The doctor will also ask about smoking and vaping, alcohol, drugs, diet pills, or performance-enhancing supplements, including steroids.
At Fairhope Pediatrics, the completion of sports physical forms is FREE if requested on the same day as your physical! The form to complete is on our website here. Sports physicals are valid if you have had a wellness exam within the prior 12 months.
Please call the office at (251) 928-5568 to get your sports physical scheduled.
Sources: TeensHealth, MedExpress