When your child participates in sports, they have the opportunity to stay active and make lifelong friends. Before beginning their sport, though, you need to make sure your child is healthy enough to play by scheduling a sports physical to assess their readiness to participate in their specific sport.
Most children pass their sports physical, but if your child doesn’t right away, there’s no need to panic. With the right modifications and support, they can usually still play sports.
Rainilda Valencia, MD, Micaela Marin-Tucker, PA-C, and Megan Reynolds, C-PNP, of Valencia Pediatrics in Victorville, California, explain what options your child has if they don’t pass their sports physical.
What does a sports physical assess?
A sports physical ensures your child is healthy enough to play their specific sport. Our team assesses your child’s overall development and health while also checking their strength, flexibility, and physical wellness for their specific sport of choice.
Your child needs a new sports physical before beginning a new season or year of participation, even if they have previously participated in the sport. If they participate in different sports, they need to get a new physical for each sport they play.
Why do children not pass their sports physical?
Your child won’t pass their sports physical if there is any reason they can’t safely play their sport. Health issues that can interfere with your child’s physical wellness while playing sports include:
- Chronic issues like heart conditions, diabetes, and asthma
- Severe allergies to triggers like bees and pollen if your child’s sport is played outdoors
- A history of multiple injuries like concussions or bone fractures
In older children and teenagers, a history of eating disorders or drug and alcohol abuse might also raise concerns about participating in some sports.
What happens if my child doesn’t pass their sports physical?
If your child doesn’t pass their sports physical, don’t panic. Most of the time, our team can create a treatment plan that enables your child to participate in their sport of choice or another sport.
Often, all your child needs is a change in medication to safely participate in their sport. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple adjustment to your child’s heart or asthma medication. In other cases, our treatment plan asks your child or their coach to carry an epi pen in case of a severe allergic reaction while playing their sport.
If there are no reasonable modifications that allow your child to participate in a specific sport, they can almost always play another sport. If your child has a history of injuries that make contact sports unsafe, for example, they can usually play sports that don’t involve direct physical contact with other players.
Once our team has come up with a treatment plan that enables your child to play, your child can pass their sports physical by following the treatment plan with you and their coaches. Sometimes, our team asks your child to come in for a follow-up sports physical to ensure their new treatment is working.
Our team is here to do everything possible to make sure every child can safely participate in the sports and activities they love. To schedule a sports physical, contact our team today by calling 442-204-0019.