The Importance Of Sports Physicals

May 31, 2023

sports physicals

Sports have many benefits when it comes to a child’s development. Sports increase cardiovascular fitness, help grow bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and improve coordination and balance. If your child is thinking about playing sports, it’s important to make sure they complete a comprehensive evaluation. This will help determine if they are able to play safely and offer an opportunity to catch any health problems that can be exacerbated by sports activity.

Sports Physicals For Children And Adolescents

Team sports are a great way for your children to get involved, make friends, and learn transferable skills they can use throughout the rest of their lives. Here at Holly Springs Pediatrics, we stress the importance of sports physicals so your child can stay on the field instead of on the sidelines. 

Why Are Sports Physical Important?

Roughly 62% of all organized sports-related injuries happen during practices, and there are a lot more practices than games throughout your child’s season. A proper physical exam is essential to ensuring your child’s safety and well-being during sports participation. During this physical, the doctor will check certain metrics like the child’s height and weight, along with looking them over to give them an overall health assessment. These examinations can be used as preventative measures for some of the most common sports-related injuries in children, including sprains, muscle strains, broken bones, growth plate injuries, repetitive strain injuries (RSI), and heat-related illnesses. 

Whether athletes are required to have a physical exam before participation or it is highly recommended, this first step helps to identify any issues that might interfere with a child’s ability to participate. 

What Is The Difference Between A Sports Physical And A Yearly Physical?

You may question the need for a sports physical if your child just had their annual physical. However, these two physicals focus on different aspects of your child’s overall health. Children’s annual exams focus not only on the physical well-being of your child but their emotional and developmental well-being too. The following topics are often discussed during a yearly physical:

  • Immunizations
  • Health history
  • Preventative health measures
  • Behavioral screenings
  • Developmental screenings

Other topics that are discussed during annual physicals include a wide variety of adolescent issues, such as peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, violence, puberty, and relationships. It is important to note that you can get your child’s sports physical done during the same visit as their yearly visit— as long as both are being completed and specific concerns are addressed.

What Does The Physical Examination Include?

Sports physicals focus mainly on the physical well-being of your child. According to Kids Health, during a sports physical, your child’s healthcare provider will usually:

  • Check your child’s height and weight
  • Take your child’s blood pressure and pulse
  • Check your child’s heart and lungs
  • Test your child’s vision
  • Examine your child’s muscles, bones, and joints

Once the physical examination is complete, in most cases, you will be asked questions about your child’s medical history. Some of these questions may include medical issues that run in the family, such as asthma or diabetes, previous hospitalizations or surgeries, allergies, and past injuries. 

Sports physicals are a must for all school-aged athletes. The purpose of a sports physical is to identify any potential health issues that could worsen or otherwise be exacerbated by the physical activity involved with participating in sports. Holly Springs Pediatrics is committed to providing quality care to your kids at all times on a wide array of subjects. Do you have more questions on sports physicals? Call our Holly Springs, NC pediatric office at (919) 249-4700 to schedule an appointment or talk to a staff member.