As summer flies by, it’s time to start thinking about school sports and fall recreational leagues — are you excited for Pee Wee Football? Before you fill out the paperwork and get your little ones out on the field or court, make sure they’re in good health.
Most sports organizations and schools require a physical before allowing children to participate, and rightfully so: It’s important to check for any pre-existing conditions that may lead to injury during sports. Dr. Rainilda Valencia, MD, of Valencia Pediatrics specializes in sports physicals and encourages every parent to have their child thoroughly examined before sports participation.
From Dr. Valencia, here are three big reasons your child athlete should get a sports physical.
They’ll be checked for pre-existing injuries
If your child has sustained an injury from sports or another activity, Dr. Valencia will evaluate the injury site to make sure it won’t interfere with your little one’s sports. During a sports physical, Dr. Valencia checks all the major injury sites (knees, ankles, shoulders, wrists, and neck) and asks about and prior or present injuries or pain.
If your child does have a pre-existing injury, Dr. Valencia can recommend a care plan to ensure the injury site doesn’t turn into a recurring issue.
They’ll be checked for sport-specific health markers
During a typical annual physical or well-child exam, Dr. Valencia checks for overall health. That includes an in-depth health history and discussion, vital measurements like pulse and blood pressure, and physical measurements like height and weight.
During a sports physical, Dr. Valencia checks all that and more. To clear your child for sports, Dr. Valencia checks breathing patterns, muscle and bone health, flexibility and strength, and more. With older children, she also discusses nutrition and healthy habits to ensure your child is making choices that fuel his or her sports performance.
They’ll be cleared for sports participation for the entire year
As long as your child passes the sports physical, he or she should be cleared to play sports all year. This usually applies to both recreational and school teams, but be sure to check in with an administrator if you’re unsure.
If your little one doesn’t pass the physical, don’t fret — Dr. Valencia specializes in custom treatment plans that address these issues. Our dedicated team will have your child healthy enough to participate as soon as possible, and in the meantime, Dr. Valencia can suggest alternative sports or activities that your child might love.
To learn more about sports physicals at Valencia Pediatrics, visit our sports physicals FAQ. If you’re ready to get your child cleared for sports, call Dr. Valencia today (442-204-0019).