Students may be preparing to get back on to the sports field. Before this can happen, most school districts require students to undergo a sports physical before they can try-out or participate in any athletic team.
When is the Best Time to Complete a Sports Physical?
The optimal time to have a physical performed is six weeks before the start of the sports season. If any injuries or conditions are found, six weeks will give the student time to be treated and recover. If physicals are completed seven weeks or more prior to the season, conditions may develop between the time of examination and the start date of the sport.
What Tests are Performed?
The student will undergo a review of their medical history as well as a physical examination. Their doctor will evaluate the following factors to determine whether the student is cleared to play their specific sport:
- Height & Weight. In most cases, these measurements are not a cause for concern. In rare instances, the doctor may determine that the student athlete’s height or weight may be risk-factor.
- Blood Pressure. High or low blood pressure will usually not disqualify someone from participation, however follow up care may be recommended.
- Vision. The student athlete is not required to have perfect vision in order to participate in any particular sport, but it may be cause for concern in some instances. For example, if a person has extremely poor visual acuity and they want to play baseball, they may not be cleared for that sport.
- Heart. Some rare heart abnormalities could cause sudden death during physical activity. Tests will be performed in order to determine if these abnormalities are present.
- Abdomen. An examination of the abdomen will be performed to assess the risk of tearing during contact sports.
Muscles & Skeleton. The student’s overall body structure and capability of movement will be observed. Their doctor will also check their back to determine if scoliosis is present.
If Health Issues are Found, Can My Child Still Participate?
If medical issues are present, potential solutions and treatments will be discussed. If the condition is permanent, a judgment will be made to place the student athlete into one of the following participation categorizations:
- Unrestricted Participation. The student may play in the specified sport without any constraints.
- Clearance With Coach Notification. The student athlete is cleared to play the sport, but special accommodations may be warranted in certain circumstances.
- Deferred Clearance. Clearance cannot be given at this time, but a treatment plan will be put in place for future evaluation.
- Disqualification. Participation in the sport is prohibited.
Schedule Your Child's Sport Physicals Today!
It’s important to ensure that your child is physically prepared for the upcoming sports season. That’s why we urge you to take action and schedule your child’s sports physical today by calling our pediatric clinic at (570) 558-9051 to schedule your child’s appointment.