Do your kids plan on playing sports this year, either through school or a community league? You may need to schedule a sports physical. Also referred to as a pre-participation exam (PPE), a sports physical is similar to an annual physical exam, with just a few minor differences. But before your kids put on a jersey, here’s why they need to be seen by a doctor.
Get Peace of Mind With A Sports Physical
Most teams require paperwork from a health care provider showing that your child is physically cleared to play his or her chosen sport. Some states require these physicals, but even if yours doesn’t, it’s a good idea to have kids checked by a doctor to make sure they are healthy enough to participate safely. Also, this can prevent unforeseen health issues and provide you with peace of mind.
You can expect questions about current health, medical history and lifestyle habits including:
- Family history
- Chronic illnesses, such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy
- History of dizziness, fainting, headaches or chest pain
- Vision or hearing problems
- High or low blood pressure
- Past injuries, including sprains, strains, broken bones and concussions
- Previous surgeries or hospitalizations
- Drug, alcohol, nicotine or supplement use
- Eating disorders
- Current medications
Your child will also get a physical exam that includes:
- Measurement of height, weight, pulse and blood pressure
- Exam of heart, lungs, abdomen, ear, nose, throat, vision, neurological functions, joints, flexibility, strength and posture
Gearing Up for School and Sports?
Schedule a checkup or sports physical to make sure your child's ready.
The provider may decide other tests are necessary, such as:
This post was originally published in 2019 and updated in 2021.
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