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Preparing for a healthy sports season

It’s about that time of year to begin scheduling your child’s sports physical for the upcoming season!

A physical is a routine test or evaluation completed by a primary care physician (PCP) to check your child’s overall health. A sports physical evaluation is also known as a pre-participation physical examination (PPE). These yearly exams give parents the opportunity to discuss medical history, daily activity barriers, or request medical advice for ways to keep their children healthy. As a result, sports physicals also help determine whether or not a child (or young adult) is physically prepared and able to participate in a sport safely.

Dr. Rachel Schroer, a Family Medicine physician at St. Clair’s Urgent Care facility says, “Sports physicals do not only determine if your child is prepared to take part in a sport safely, but also raise awareness about other health conditions that may have gone unnoticed for a long period of time. Sports physicals, as well as yearly wellness exams, are crucial for building your child’s medical history and allow us to better treat your children and possibly detect a condition in early stages.”

As your children begin sports conditioning this late summer, think about scheduling their physical soon for the upcoming season and school year. Physicals are typically only valid for one calendar year and should be completed before school or a sports season begins. If your child has completed a physical for a fall sport and received an injury, concussion or it may simply be school policy that your child will need re-evaluated for a spring sport. When preparing for your child’s visit, make sure you have the appropriate documentation ready which includes proper identification and a completed sports physical form. In addition, it’s a good idea to communicate any current prescribed medications, and recent surgeries or injuries to the provider that day.

There are two major components to a sports physical which include the medical history of the patient and the actual physical examination. The exam part of the visit is very similar to an annual checkup, but with a few additional sports-related assessments that focus on bone, joint, lung, and heart health.

Medical history overview includes:

  • Nutrition and calorie intake
  • Breathing problem of asthma diagnosis
  • Dizziness
  • Heat illness
  • Menstrual
  • Seizure
  • Allergies
  • Heart health
  • Previous injuries
  • And more

Physical exam evaluates the patient’s:

  • Height and weight
  • Lungs
  • Blood pressure
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Heart
  • Abdomen
  • Skin
  • Bones and muscles
  • Genitals

“Sports provide an opportunity for your child to socialize with friends, find their interests in life, and push themselves physically and mentally. This is truly where your child begins developing strong motor skills and logistical thinking,” says Dr. Schroer.

Sports physicals are now easier than ever to complete with St. Clair’s Urgent Care open until 9:00 p.m., Monday through Sunday. The urgent care facility offers convenient, after-school, and weekend hours that make it simple for parents to get their kids to an appointment without having to miss school or work. You can call our Urgent Care at 412.942.8800 with any additional questions or Get in Line, Online by clicking here.