If you are a parent of a little swimmer, football player, gymnast – you name it – you are probably familiar with sports physicals.
Sports physicals are an important part of ensuring that athletes are healthy and safe to participate in their chosen sport. These physicals typically include a thorough examination by a medical professional, including a review of the athlete’s medical history and a physical examination.
The primary goal of a sports physical is to identify any potential health risks or conditions that could be exacerbated by participation in a sport. For example, a history of asthma may mean that an athlete needs to be especially careful to avoid triggers that could cause an attack during a game or practice. Similarly, a physical examination may reveal an injury or condition that needs to be treated before the athlete can safely participate in a sport.
In addition to identifying potential health risks, sports physicals also help to ensure that athletes are up-to-date on any necessary vaccinations. For example, many states require that student athletes be vaccinated against certain diseases, such as measles or meningitis. A sports physical can help to ensure that these requirements are met.
Sports Physicals vs. Annual Physicals
It’s important to note that a sports physical is different from an annual physical exam. An annual physical may cover most of the same things as a sports physical, but it’s not tailored specifically to the needs of an athlete. A sports physical is a specific examination to ensure the athlete is healthy enough to participate in their sport.
If you’re the parent of an athlete, it’s important to schedule a sports physical before the start of each new season. It’s also a good idea to schedule a follow-up examination if your child experiences any new symptoms or injuries during the course of the season. Call New Beginnings Pediatrics at (540) 739-3623 to schedule a sports physical.