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Time for a Sports Physical for Your Kids? – April 12, 2021

Sports can be an invaluable part of a child’s life. They provide physical activity, build confidence, teach teamwork, and help kids make friends. But before your child can play sports, it’s important to know that they are healthy. And what you may not know is that even if your child doesn’t play an organized sport, having a sports physical is still recommended because all kids are potential athletes, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). We can offer your child an affordable sports physical in Sacramento. 

What is a sports physical?

Also known as a preparticipation physical examination (PPE), a sports physical determines whether or not it’s safe for your child to participate in a given sport. Most states require that children have a sports physical before starting a new sport and before the start of each new season. However, even if a sports physical isn’t required by the state or school, we still highly recommend getting one for your child. 

What is included in a sports physical?

Medical History

For this part of the physical, you will answer questions about:

  • Family history of illnesses
  • Any illnesses that your child has or had when they were younger 
  • Previous hospitalizations or surgeries
  • Allergies 
  • Past injuries 
  • Your child’s history of exercise (i.e. if they have ever passed out while playing sports in the past)
  • Medications


Physical Exam

During this part of the exam, your child’s doctor will:

  • Measure height and weight
  • Take blood pressure and pulse (heart rate and rhythm)
  • Test your child’s vision
  • Check your child’s heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose, and throat
  • Assess posture, joints, strength, and flexibility


When and how often should my child get one?

You should schedule the exam at least six to eight weeks before the sports season begins to allow for time to address any potential issues. 

Usually, getting a sports physical once a year is sufficient unless your child has had an injury, in which case they will likely need another one after the injury has healed.

Why is it important?

A sports physical can determine if your child has any health problems that might interfere with their ability to play a certain sport. However, many children can still participate in sports, even if they have certain health conditions. For example, if your child has asthma, the doctor might prescribe a different inhaler or adjust the dosage for use while running.

Your child’s doctor may also have some training tips and advice for avoiding injuries that can help your child be even more successful in their sport. 

The goal of a sports physical is to make sure your child is safe while playing sports, not to stop them from playing. 

Sports Physical in Sacramento

It’s best to avoid mass screenings at your child’s school or a pharmacy, as they may not have access to your child’s medical records or any necessary immunizations. If you are looking for an affordable sports physical in Sacramento, give us a call. At One Community Health in Sacramento, we are fully equipped to handle any needs your child may have. To make it easier on you and your child, ask to have a sports physical at their next routine wellness visit with us. We love to see happy, healthy children playing sports. Our top priority is to help get your child playing their favorite sport as soon as possible! 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (4/12/2021) by bottomlayercz0 from Pixabay

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