The reasons why physicals are required for young athletes
If your child plays or competes in school or club sports, you’re probably familiar with sports physicals, also known as a Preparticipation Physical Exam (PPE). Before a player can compete, most schools and sports leagues will require a physical. Typically, there are two parts of a sports physical – a medical history review and a physical exam. Both parts are important and can help keep your child safe and healthy when they practice, train and compete. Even when it’s not required, it can be a good idea for any active child to get checked out for the following reasons.
They Help Find and/or Treat Pre-Existing Illnesses or Conditions
Sports physicals can help discover illnesses or conditions that may otherwise have gone undetected, such as asthma, diabetes or even epilepsy. Often with proper medical care, these conditions can be managed and your child can still compete alongside their peers. But these conditions require monitoring or treatment, as they could greatly affect your child’s athletic performance.
During the physical, physicians also look for weaknesses in the heart that would indicate that the patient is not fit for physical activity and may be at risk for sudden cardiac arrest. These serious conditions may not be discovered until it’s too late without a proper sports physical.
Sports physicals are also the perfect time to address existing illnesses or conditions that your child may have. It’s important to talk with a qualified professional or primary care physician to make sure that your child is healthy enough to compete. Physicals are also a great time to discuss any potential updated treatment plans to optimize you child’s performance.
They Review Past Injuries & Help Prevent Relapse
Getting a sports physical is particularly important if your child has suffered an injury in the past, such as a broken bone, sprain, strain or concussion. Making sure that the body is fully healed can prevent additional injuries down the road. Jumping back into a sport without allowing the body to rest and heal can lead to a relapse or even make the injury worse. Sports physicals can make the difference in having a successful season or suffering another setback.
If you child is preparing to try-out for a team or join a club, schedule an appointment or walk in to an AFC near you for a sports physical that meets the guidelines and requirements of sports teams on a national level.