Most states require students to have Sports Physicals, also known as PPEs, to help reduce the risks sports can pose to children. Even if one isn’t required, having a screening can give you the satisfaction of knowing you are sending your child off safely onto the field. So what is involved and where do you go?
- Where can my child receive a sports physical? Doctor’s offices can perform them as well as walk-in clinics, such as Midwest Express Clinic. In most cases an appointment is not needed at a walk-in clinic. With today’s busy schedules it is a much easier option than trying to find a date and time that works for you and your doctor.
- What is the reason for the examination? A physician needs to evaluate your child to make sure that he is ready to participate in sports at school. The purpose is to identify if there are any potential health issues that may make participation in a certain sport unsafe for your child. It also screens for any prior undetected health problems or ensures that prior health problems have been properly treated so your child is not put at additional risk for injury.
- Do Sports Physicals actually help reduce risks to kids? Yes they do. Especially for children who have undiagnosed heart defects that could pose a serious risk.
- Is there a chance my child be excluded from a sport? Less than 1% of children are excluded from a sport based on their examination.
- If my child already had an exam why do I need another one? Sports are very different from each other and the doctor will focus on specific risks associated with each sport. Certain sports may be more at risk for joint and spinal injuries while others may have more cardiovascular risks.
- Do I need to attend the physical with my child? A parent should be present so they can provide the doctor with a complete and accurate medical history. History information to gather includes: family cardiac history, injuries, illnesses and medications, and any prior or current medical conditions.
- What should I bring? If the school has provided a form be sure to bring this. Most clinics will have a form if one has not been provided to you. This is the form that the doctor will fill out and state that everything is okay or in some cases make a recommendation for follow up.