Why is a sports physical important?

A multi-ethnic group of elementary age children are playing a game of soccer outside on a sunny day. A little boy is kicking the ball up the field.School is starting, and so are school sports! If your son or daughter wants to join a school sports team, the odds are pretty good they will have to have a sports physical first. Here is some information on what happens during a sports physical and why it is an important part of your child’s school year. 

Why should your child get a sports physical?

A sports physical can determine if your child is healthy enough to play a sport and can help to determine if he or she may have any as-yet undiagnosed condition that makes playing a sport dangerous. 

To do this, the doctor will ask some basic questions, such as if your child has ever passed out, felt dizzy, had chest pain during exercise, or had any trouble breathing. He or she will ask about any past illnesses or diseases, any medication your child is taking, and about the family medical history, to see if any serious disease runs in the family. Then he or she will check blood pressure and pulse; the flexibility and strength of joints; posture; vision; and the throat, abdomen, heart, lungs, nose, and ears. Tests may be ordered, such as a urinalysis, blood tests, or an electrocardiogram. 

Teenage girls will be asked about their menstrual cycle and whether it’s regular. Some very serious female athletes may have irregular or absent periods, weak bones, and poor nutrition, something to watch out for if your daughter is heavily into sports. 

Your doctor may give the OK to play without any restrictions, or there may be certain modifications to your child’s lifestyle. For instance, your child may be prescribed a different inhaler for asthma that will help when there is a lot of running involved in a sport, or talk to your child about always having an epinephrine injector if they are allergic to insect stings. 

A sports physical is an important part of the school year, to make sure your kids are healthy before they jump back into their favorite sport. If your son or daughter needs a sports physical, call the Palmdale office of Katayoun Motlagh, MD. Call (661) 947-6400 today!

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