As the weather warms up here in Orlando, sports seasons are opening up to tryouts. Whether your little one is joining a soccer league this summer, has their heart set on baseball, or stars on the local swim team, chances are that before they’re accepted onto a team they’ll need to undergo a sports physical. If you’re new to the world of youth sports then you might be wondering what a sports physical is, what happens during a sports physical, or where you even go to get one done for your child!
As a family medicine practice, sports physicals are a routine service that we offer here at Optimum Direct Care. Today we’re taking some time to share everything you need to know about sports physicals so you can tackle this important part of the sports team registration process and get your little one out on the field!
Sports physicals – also referred to as PPEs or pre-participation physical examinations – are special exams you can set up with your healthcare provider. They’re a great way to assess whether or not your child can safely participate in a sport, and act as a screening tool to uncover any potential medical issues prior to playing. They’re typically required when registering your child for a sport, and in most cases you’ll need to provide documentation from a medical professional that your child has passed their sports physical before they’re able to join the team.
Sports can be extremely demanding on the human body, especially for young children, and sometimes a child may have an underlying medical condition or issue that’s exacerbated by the physical demands of the sport they’re playing. When a doctor performs a sports physical, they are first asking pointed questions about the child’s history, such as whether they have had a concussion, or have passed out during exercise in the past. They are also asking more specific questions about family history of any cardiac abnormalities that could increase the child’s risk, if the child were born with similar abnormalities. They are looking for things that may have been missed during normal physicals or developed since the last time the patient visited the practice.
A sports physical can help catch hearing or vision problems that may cause an issue during a game, or detect a variety of other abnormalities that often go undetected. Your child’s heart will also be checked thoroughly to ensure that he or she will be able to handle the increased pressure that intense exercise puts on the heart.
Even if your child’s coach or program doesn’t require a sports physical, the team here at ODC highly recommends it. Sports physicals are included in the cost of your direct primary care membership and serve as an extra layer of protection, reassuring parents and coaches that the child in question is medically fit to participate so you can have peace of mind moving forward!
During your child’s sports physical our doctors will calculate your child’s body-mass index, and check his or her heart health as well as their musculoskeletal development. Since flexibility and range of motion are important factors in your child’s ability to play sports, these may also be evaluated. She’ll talk to you and your child about their current level of physical activity and fitness routine, and will take time to answer any questions that either of you may have. If your child suffers from any chronic diseases, such as diabetes or asthma, we can provide some recommendations for keeping them under control while staying physically active.
Our team will fill out any necessary paperwork after the exam is completed, and can even assist with faxing the records directly to your athletic organization!
Although sometimes to parents they may seem like an annoying formality, sports physicals are actually an incredibly important part of the sports registration process and your best way of determining whether it’s safe for your child to play a particular sport. If you live in the Orlando area and your child is in need of a sports physical, they’re something that we offer here at Optimum Direct Care for new and existing patients alike!
ODC members have unlimited access to this type of visit included in the cost of their membership, so contact us today to schedule your child’s appointment.