As summer is coming to a close and school is starting up again your children may be starting practices for fall sports. Sports are a great activity for kids and we want them to be active for as long as possible. Before signing your child up for school sports, it is a good idea for them to get a physical, or pre-participation exam (PPE). This will help to determine if their body can physically handle the activity that the sport requires, especially for first-time participants.
The doctors at Walker Spine and Sports Specialists want you to know the importance of these sports physicals and why you should get one for your child.
Determine Likelihood for Injury
During a sports physical, the doctor will go over the student’s medical history, including genetic risk factors, personal habits, previous injuries, immunizations and illnesses. This allows them to determine how likely it is that a child could be injured while playing.
Some questions the doctor might ask include:
- How often do you exercise?
- Have you ever passed out during exercise?
- Are you taking any medications?
- Is there a history of heart attack, stroke or diabetes in your family?
After determining the risk factors in your child’s medical history, the doctor will perform a physical exam by collecting measurements for the following:
- Height and weight
- Blood pressure
- Joint movements
- Vision and hearing
- Muscle strength
- Walking and posture
- Breathing and pulse
Determine Level of Participation
After collecting all of the information the doctor needs to determine the likelihood of injury during sports, he or she will help you and your child determine whether the child is fit for participating and what they can do to have a safe season.
If there were previous injuries or complications during the physical, your doctor may recommend some rehabilitation practices to help get your child back in shape so they can participate in sports. No matter how the exam goes, be sure to listen to the doctor’s advice and carefully consider with your child what will be best for them.
Most schools require these sports physicals prior to participation, but even if your child’s school doesn’t have this requirement, it is in their best interest to have the examined first.