Children should not play summer sports without a sports physical.While summer is almost here and the school year is coming to an end, you and your child may already be looking at various sports for them to participate in during the upcoming school year. Allowing your child to play a sport is a fun way for them to socialize with other children and keep them healthy and active. Before the season starts, however, it is important for your child to visit their pediatrician and get a sports physical exam.

A sports physical exam, also known as a preparticipation physical evaluation (PPE), helps determine whether or not a student athlete is healthy enough to participate in a sport. In the state of Virginia, sports physicals are required by individual schools and by the Virginia High School League prior to participation in a sport. Even if a sports physical isn’t required by your child’s school, it’s still recommended that your child gets one as a safety precaution.

There are two parts of a sports physical: the medical history portion and the physical examination. The medical history portion includes questions related to family history, past illnesses, recent injuries, allergies, and current medications. During the physical exam, the pediatrician will record your child’s height, weight, pulse and blood pressure; check their ears, nose, throat, heart, lungs, and abdomen; and evaluate their flexibility and strength.

Sports physicals are important because they ensure that your child is healthy enough to participate in the sport that they choose. The exam can help uncover current health problems that you and your child need to address prior to participating in the sport. It can also help recognize potential health problems that could affect your child in the future and determine solutions for preventative care.

A sports physical also gives you and your child the opportunity to voice your concerns about particular sports and ask the pediatrician about risk factors associated with them. Your child’s pediatrician knows your child and their health history better than anyone else, making them the best option for your child’s physical.

Start the summer off right by scheduling a physical exam for your child before they begin their sport! We would also be happy to complete your sports form at the time of your visit. At Capital Area Pediatrics, our team can help you and your child address any health issues and give you both the go-ahead for the upcoming season. To schedule an appointment with one of our pediatricians, find your nearest location and give our staff a call today.

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