School And Sports Physicals
Starting school and practicing a sport are two important milestones in every child’s life. Going to school will help them gain the necessary skills to become an active member of society, and will also of course help them begin their studying journey.
Practicing a sport on the other hand will allow them to build healthy lifestyle habits, pick up a passion or a hobby, improve their health, and will be a good way for them to burn off some extra energy.
However, before starting school or a sport, your child will need to be examined by a pediatrician to rule out any potential problems or causes for concern. Sugarland Pediatrics team offers the best school and sports physicals services, so don’t hesitate to contact us today to book an appointment.
Why is a sports physical exam important for children?
What is a school physical?
A school physical is similar to a routine medical examination, but it focuses more on aspects and health concerns specific to starting school. A school physical will help determine if the child’s health status allows them to go to school and if they have any special needs that will require specific attention and care.
Important organs will be examined during a school physical, such as the heart and lungs, along with other important body functions such as vision and hearing.
A school physical is also an opportunity to ensure that the child is fully vaccinated and that they don’t carry an infectious disease that they could transmit to other children in the class.
How does a school physical usually go?
A routine school physical is usually comprised of the following:
– Medical history of the child: the doctor will ask about the pregnancy and delivery of the child, their development, if they have any known allergies or illnesses and if they have had surgery or have been hospitalized in the past.
– Medical history of the family: the doctor will especially enquire about any known hereditary diseases in the family.
– Immunizations and vaccines: the doctor will check the child’s immunizations and will order any missing ones.
– Physical examination: the doctor will examine the child to determine their general health status, they will track their height, weight and establish a growth chart. Specific examinations of different systems (neurological, respiratory, cardiovascular…) may be conducted.
– Laboratory tests and urine samples may be ordered, but they are not necessary.
Sometimes, the pediatrician may refer the child to a specialist if the results of the physical exam are inconclusive or worrisome.
Why are school physicals important?
Although they can be overlooked, school physicals are extremely important for many reasons:
– To ensure the child is fully ready to start school and that they don’t have any special needs.
– To ensure that their immunizations are in check, to protect them and other children from infectious diseases.
– If the child is on any medication, a school physical will make sure that they know exactly how to take their medicine, and that the school staff is aware and ready to assist the child in doing so.
– To make sure that the teaching staff is aware of any allergies or conditions (epilepsy or asthma) that the child may have, so that they keep a close eye on the child and that they know how to intervene in case of an emergency.
How does a sports physical usually go?
A routine sports physical is usually comprised of the following:
– Medical history of the child: looking for any past surgeries or a history of sprains and bone fractures. The doctor will also ask about diseases like diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, blood clotting disorders, or brittle bone disease.
– Medical history of the family: especially looking for any hereditary diseases present in the family.
– A summary of any medications that the child is taking.
– Physical examination: mostly to examine the respiratory and cardiovascular systems to see if they can withstand high-intensity exercises. An examination of the musculoskeletal system will also allow the doctor to diagnose any malformations that the child may have, such as scoliosis or flat arches.
– Radiographs or other imaging tests may be ordered.
Why are sports physicals important?
Sports physicals are important because they will help determine if the child is healthy enough to practice a sport. In case of a preexisting condition, a sports physical will help the child deal well with his or her limitations to avoid injury.
During a sports physical, the pediatrician will also give the child some useful information such as the necessity of warm-ups and cool-downs, and some basic advice about sports nutrition, hydration, and the importance of staying away from steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.