Nurse checks teenager's pulse during sports physical

Sports Physicals, also called preparticipation physical examinations (PPEs), are an important part of determining whether your child is ready for vigorous physical activity, and have long been required by most schools for youth participation in sports. Over the last decade or so, similar requirements have emerged for specialized summer camps and other extra-curricular activities.

Why are sports physicals important?

A sports physical is the best way to understand your child’s physical and physiological readiness to participate in their respective activity. Not only does the doctor look at your child’s current physical state, but they also look at patterns in family illnesses and complications to predict possible issues that your child could run into. For example: if your child has asthma and wants to participate in a physically strenuous sport like football or soccer, a doctor might be able to prescribe a different type of inhaler or asthma medication that would be more effective for when your child is playing that sport.

The doctor may even share some injury prevention suggestions, like specific stretches, strengthening exercises and tips on when to take breaks. A doctor also can identify risk factors that are linked to specific sports.

Addressing your child’s medical needs while also learning about injury prevention techniques is the best way to keep your child healthy and happy while they are playing their favorite sports this school year!

What goes on during a sports physical?

Typically, the doctor will perform a comprehensive evaluation including the following:

  • Participant health history – an important review of illnesses your child had when they were younger (asthma, epilepsy, etc.), previous surgeries, past injuries (sprains, concussions, fractures), whether they have ever passed out, felt dizzy, had chest pain, or any other issues that could complicate their participation in sports.
  • Family health history – Many doctors believe that family medical history is the most important part of a sports physical because it is the best way to understand what conditions your child has or could develop in the future.
  • Allergies and medications history – understanding whether the participant has allergies to potential exposures in the given sport, or if medications would impact, or be impacted by, physical activity is an important preventative assessment
  • A complete physical assessment of all of the body systems to confirm there are no issues that would limit your child from participating. Here is what is typically measured:
    • Height and weight
    • Blood pressure and pulse
    • Vision
    • Heart, lungs, abdomen, nose, and throat
    • Posture, joints, strength, and flexibility

$25 Sports Physicals at any MEDcare Location through August 2017

Getting your child a sports physical determines whether they have medical issues that could limit them from playing certain sports safely. This is really important information to keep your child safe, happy and healthy.

All of our locations are holding $25 sports physicals through August 31, 2017. We can make sure that your child is okay to play when school sports pick back up. Visit our sports physical page, print and fill out the form, and bring it with you to make your visit even faster. Remember, you can just walk in!