Why are School and Sports Physicals Important?
By Virginia Pediatric Group
September 20, 2018
Category: Pediatrician
Tags: sports physical  

Find out why every child needs to get a sports physical each year.

Since your child was born they have been seeing their pediatrician quite often for checkups to make sure they are reaching developmentalschool and sports physicals milestones and staying healthy. Of course, once your child is old enough to go to school there are new things to think about such as getting them a school or sports physical. In fact, many schools require this physical before a child can participate in school sports. “Why?” You might be wondering. Our Herndon, Great Falls, South Riding, and Fairfax, VA, pediatricians are here to explain.

What is a sports physical?

In order to understand the importance of a physical, it’s first important to understand what goes into this visit. A sports physical, sometimes referred to as a preparticipation physical examination (PPE), is an evaluation that determines if your child is healthy enough for the activity or sport that they want to play. Your child’s school may make this physical exam mandatory but even if they don’t it’s important that your child gets one each and every year.

A sports physical is made up of two components: going through their detailed medical history and then having one of our children’s doctor perform a thorough physical exam. Going through your child’s medical history is very important, as it can give us insight into health problems, hospitalizations, medications they are taking and even injuries that could hinder or negatively impact their health, particularly while being physically active. This is also a great time for parents to ask any questions or address any concerns they might have about their child’s health.

During the physical exam, we will check vital signs, record their height and weight, evaluate their musculoskeletal system and then check their vision, hearing, throat, heart and lungs. Our doctors will also ask your child questions about their diet, lifestyle and certain habits they have that could impact their physical health.

Why is a sports physical important?

This quick and painless exam is crucial to determining if there are any potential health issues or problems that could interfere with your child’s ability to play sports. Rest assured, many of these issues do have treatment options and ways to manage the symptoms so that your child can enjoy their chosen sport; however, not having these treatment plans in place could be a serious detriment to your child's health, which is why it’s important to come in once a year for a thorough evaluation.

With summer coming to an end it’s important that your child gets the sports physical they need to begin another successful and healthy school year. Don’t wait until the last minute, as appointments fill up quickly this time of year. Call Virginia Pediatric Group in Herndon, Great Falls, South Riding, and Fairfax, VA, to schedule your child’s sports physical today.

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