Does Your Child Need a Physical for Summer Sports?

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It’s that time of the year again – summer sports season. Whether your child plays soccer, enjoys skateboarding, or loves riding their bike around the neighborhood, there are a variety of reasons you should be scheduling that summer sports physical. By scheduling a sports physical in Plano, TX with board-certified family physician Dr. Priti Ranjan at Nest Family Medicine, you can set your child up for a safe, healthy, and fun summer sports season.

What is a sports physical?

The sports physical exam is also known as a preparticipation physical examination(PPE). The goal is to make sure your child can safely participate in their sport of choice, whether that’s travel baseball, summer camp, or playing kickball with friends. While many organized sports require a sports physical before starting a new sport or season, every child will benefit from a family practitioner reviewing their medical history and performing a physical exam to ensure their summer is full of fun and safety.

You should plan to schedule your child’s sports physical with Dr. Ranjan at least 6 – 8 weeks before starting a new season or becoming more active. This allows time for any follow-up exams or treatments, if necessary.

What does a sports physical involve?

The sports physical at Nest Famiy Medicine involves two major components – medical history and a physical examination.

During the medical history portion of a sports physical, Dr. Ranjan will review questions about:

  • Family history of serious illnesses

  • Prior or current illnesses of your child, such as asthma or epilepsy

  • Allergies, such as to insect bites

  • Previous injuries, like a concussion or bone fracture

  • Past hospitalizations or surgeries

  • Any concerns, such as dizziness or trouble breathing during exercise

  • Current medications, including over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, and supplements

  • Immunizations

By reviewing your child’s medical history in Plano, TX, our family practitioner can identify patterns and discuss any concerns in a confidential, trusted setting.

During the physical examination portion of a sports physical, Dr. Ranjan will:

  • Record your child’s height and weight

  • Take your child’s blood pressure and pulse

  • Evaluate your child’s heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose, and throat

  • Check your child’s posture, joints, strength, and flexibility

  • Test your child’s vision

Keep in mind – some parts of the exam may vary depending on if your child is male or female, and if they’ve already gone through puberty. For instance, female athletes can experience menstrual health concerns related to sports, and they’re also at a higher risk of certain bone and joint injuries.

Your child will also be asked questions about other factors that can affect their health, such as drugs, alcohol, steroids, and weight-loss supplements.

Finally, Dr. Ranjan will review your child’s mental and emotional health, including sports- and performance-related depression, anxiety, and stress.

What happens if Dr. Ranjan finds a problem during a sports physical?

The purpose of a sports physical is to identify and manage any concerns that might interfere with your child’s physical activity. For instance, if your child has frequent asthma attacks, they may benefit from an inhaler to help them breathe while running. Additionally, Dr. Ranjan can provide training tips to avoid injuries, such as stretching or strengthening exercises.

It’s unlikely that your child will be disqualified from playing organized sports. The goal of a sports physical is to help them stay safe while playing sports – not keep them from playing altogether. If Dr. Ranjan has any concerns, she will work with you and your child to determine a plan to keep your child safe and healthy.

Get a sports physical in Plano

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding mass physicals, such as those in a school gym and urgent care settings for sports physicals. Instead, they suggest using a family practitioner who can maintain a complete picture of your child’s health and care.

Dr. Priti Ranjan is committed to providing quality and trusted care to families in Plano, TX, including for sports physicals. By being proactive about your child’s health, you can help them enjoy everything summer sports have to offer. For more information on summer sports physicals or to schedule an appointment, contact Nest Family medicine today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.