Why are Sports Physicals Important?

Spring is right around the corner. Many kids (and their parents!) get excited about this time of year since spring also means it’s sports season. The State of Georgia requires that all students have a standard sports physical before participating in high school athletics. So don’t wait until the last minute for your children’s sports physicals!

The importance of sports physicals

More than 36.3 children and teens in the United States play organized sports each year; unfortunately, many of these children experience sports-related injuries. Although most of these injuries will be minor and the children will recover easily, some injuries are much more serious.

Because the danger of sports-related injuries is all too real, you’ll want to make sure a medical professional evaluates your child’s readiness. Sports physicals help to ensure your child is fit and able to participate in school sports.

What to expect at a sports physical

While general physicals are done to assess a child’s overall health, sports physicals focus primarily on orthopedics (joints and bones) and muscles. The doctor is essentially checking for any and all conditions which may be aggravated by sports.

Along with evaluating the child’s posture, joints, strength, and flexibility, the doctor usually checks the following:

  • Height and weight
  • Blood pressure and pulse
  • Vision
  • Heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose, and throat

The doctor also takes a look at the child’s medical history to find anything out of the ordinary, such as heart conditions or asthma. If you have a teenager, he or she can expect the doctor to ask about the use drugs, alcohol, or dietary supplements (including steroids or other “performance enhancers” and weight-loss supplements) since doing so can certainly impact their health. 

Depending on the results of a sports physical, a doctor may bar your child from playing sports. Doctors generally only do so in very serious cases though. Most agree that participating in sports is an important social activity for a child, but also believe the child’s health and safety are even more important.

To set up a time for your child’s sports physical or if you have any questions, please give us a call at 912-871-HUGS (4847).