The pediatricians at Tanasbourne Pediatrics in Beaverton, Oregon believe that participating in school and club sports is a terrific way for your children to form healthy, active habits that continue into adulthood. They also provide great environments for your child to learn social and collaboration skills in a team setting. These dedicated physicians also promote sports physicals as a way to ensure your child is ready for sports. Call the clinic today to make an appointment.
Most states require that kids and teens have a physical before they participate in school or club sports. The exam focuses on whether your child can safely participate in a certain sport. It’s often an annual requirement for schools or something your child must have before beginning a new competitive season.
Your school or club often sends you a form that your doctor completes and signs during the physical, which must be returned to your school’s athletic department or club representative. This form usually includes questions about your child’s health and family history, allergies, current medications and supplements, and other issues pertinent to sports activities.
You can expect questions regarding the athlete that may require specifics about:
Your pediatrician also needs to know if your child has ever lost consciousness, felt dizzy, had chest pain, or experienced difficulty breathing during exercise.
It’s important to answer all these questions honestly. A “yes” to any of them doesn’t necessarily disqualify your child from participating. Difficulty breathing during exercise, for example, may mean he has a mild type of asthma that’s easily controlled by using an inhaler before the activity.
You can expect your pediatrician to check your child’s height and weight and measure his blood pressure. Your child's hearing and vision will also be checked if they haven't been to an eye doctor recently. She may take a quick look at his ears, nose, and throat and feel his belly for any abnormalities.
A sport physical is also designed to take special note of your child’s heart and musculoskeletal health. Along with listening carefully to his heart and lungs during the exam, your pediatrician may ask your child to perform certain range of motion exercises, jumping jacks, and other activities that help her gauge his readiness for sports.
Your pediatrician may also check for irregular heartbeats, such as heart murmurs, or symptoms of Marfan syndrome, which can affect musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health.