Why Sports Physicals are So Important for Kids banner

By westgate July 8, 2024

Why Sports Physicals are So Important for Kids

As children gear up for another exciting season of sports, it’s important for parents to prioritize their kid’s health and safety by scheduling sports physicals. These exams are not just routine checkups; they can safeguard a child’s well-being and minimize the risk of sports-related injuries.

Sports physicals involve a thorough evaluation of a child’s overall health and fitness levels. Healthcare providers will assess medical history, current health status, family medical history and pre-existing conditions that may affect a child’s ability to participate in sports safely. By identifying underlying health concerns or risk factors early on, sports physicals can help ensure that children receive appropriate medical care and guidance to prevent complications or injuries during physical activity.

Sports physicals usually include a musculoskeletal evaluation to assess a child’s flexibility, strength, joint stability and range of motion. Healthcare providers check for signs of muscular imbalance, ligament laxity or joint abnormalities that may predispose children to sports injuries like sprains, strains or fractures.

Cardiovascular health is also used as a measurement of a child’s ability to safely participate in sports, especially for those engaging in vigorous physical activities. Sports physicals include a cardiovascular assessment to check blood pressure, measure heart rate and listen to the heart and lungs. Healthcare providers can screen for underlying cardiovascular conditions like arrhythmias, congenital heart defects or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which could increase the risk of sudden cardiac events during exercise.

In addition to conducting physical assessments, sports physicals also provide an opportunity for doctors to educate children (and their parents) about injury prevention strategies, proper training techniques and sports-specific safety guidelines. By empowering kids with knowledge about injury prevention and risk management, sports physicals foster a culture of safety and responsibility in sports participation, reducing the likelihood of accidents or overuse injuries.

Following a comprehensive assessment, healthcare providers will determine whether a child is medically cleared to participate in sports and physical activities. In some cases, children may receive specific recommendations or modifications to ensure safe participation, such as wearing protective equipment, implementing conditioning exercises or undergoing further evaluation or treatment for underlying health conditions. By obtaining clearance from healthcare providers through sports physicals, parents can have peace of mind knowing that their children can safely play sports.