Sports Physical Exams For Your Child

Child getting physical exam for sports at Sioux Center Health

Beginning at birth and lasting until the teen years, annual wellness checkups are necessary for keeping track of your child’s health. It is important that you schedule your child for a complete medical exam now and then even if your child shows no symptoms and appears quite healthy. Routine checkups allow your health care provider to keep an eye on your toddlers as they thrive, to look over, and to give immunizations as well as to detect health issues early, providing the best chances for proper treatment.

Sioux Center Health offers a comprehensive head-to-toe evaluation, only in one visit your child will receive a routine health checkup, sports physical, and a review for immunizations. This article will cover everything you need to know about our annual wellness exam and family sports physicals.

A complete comprehensive evaluation

During routine checkups, not only will your child receive a full assessment of his/her health status. But you will also get a high chance of expressing and discussing any previous concerns and questions you have been having about your child’s wellness and behavior.

The health care provider will check your child’s physical and emotional development and guide you through the signs that you should recognize or worry about regarding your child’s health.

During the wellness checkup, your provider will:

  • -measure height and weight to ensure healthy growth
  • -check vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and BMI
  • -review immunizations and give your child appropriate vaccinations for his age
  • -a full examination of body: heart, lungs, internal organs, reflexes
  • -examine eyes and ears for signs for any subtle sensory dysfunction
  • -examine posture, gate, and coordination
  • -review of past medical history and current medications
  • -analysis of behavioral history and mental health

 

Based on physical exam findings and medical history, the provider may prescribe further screenings like X rays and CT scans or tests like blood cholesterol and sugar levels.

A sports physical

Almost every MPV season has the same inception. They all begin with the dreary sports exam, which may seem to the inexperienced eye simple, confusing, or daunting. Particularly for parents, do your athlete child really need to pass a sports exam and fitness evaluation at the beginning of every season?

Involving your kid in a community or school sports team is a great way to keep them fit, in good shape, and it benefits their overall mental and physical health. Furthermore, team sports  yield the opportunity to socialize, make friends, and learn the value of teamwork.

However, no matter what your athlete child’s favorite game is, whether it is football, basketball, soccer, or baseball. There is always a risk for casualties to happen. Minor, such as a sprained ankle and on rare occasions, major complications such as concussions and heat strokes can ensue.

The likelihood of such casualties is reduced when a child is well prepared for his sports sessions. Your health care providers must examine your child’s body to ensure they are fit enough for the fitness season ahead of them. That is why it is so important to get your child repeatedly checked through the sports physical.

What is a sport physical exam?

A sports physical exam is also known in the medical realm as the sports participation medical examination. it is a set of multiple medical tests and checkups that will help determine if a child or teen is fit enough to safely participate in sports games. The health provider will assess the child’s health and wellness for what is related to fitness and physical activity—looking for potential diseases or disorders that could make it unsafe to engage in certain physical activities. Upon his assessment, the health provider relies on past individual and familial medical history as well as social history to establish an accurate evaluation of the child’s current health status.

It is essential to note that a regular annual checkup and a sports physical exam are not identical. While the sports physical exam covers much of what is done in the annual checkup, it cannot replace it. Because the former basically focuses on the child’s ability to do physical activities, while the latter involves a more extensive and elaborate evaluation of the child’s health condition. Thus, it is essential to schedule a separate annual wellness checkup for your little ones. The Sioux center health offers a full head to toe review for an annual checkup in addition to an assessment of immunization history along with recuperation of any missed or due immunizations.

When to schedule the sports physical exam?

A physical sports exam is better scheduled for 6 to 8 weeks rather than immediately before the spots season. That way, if the health provider finds a potential condition that could be fixed, the six to eight weeks span gives sufficient time for the health provider to navigate a solution, treat the condition, refer you to a specialist, or do a follow-up exam. (get an appointment in the Sioux Center Health here)

 

What happens during a sports physical exam?

You can see this as a three steps process. In the first step, the health provider will thoroughly review the past medical history to collect valuable information that will guide him through the next step, where he completes a full-body physical examination. Followed by the last step in which the health provider assesses the child’s fitness level via a series of flexibility, posture, and strength tests.

First, the health provider will question you about the child’s past medical history as well as familial and social history. Any information about an earlier hospitalization, a previous injury, or chronic medical condition is of significant value. Thus, it is important to come to your appointment with a list of the medical history of any prior illness or disease. It will help the health provider identify conditions with potential risk to interfere with physical activity, such as asthma or chest pain, which may require further testing, referrals, or certain activity limitations to avoid future complications or deterioration.

Your child will be asked to fill out a questionnaire that investigates daily habits and lifestyle choices. Individual sections are exclusively intended for girls, and it asks about the menstrual cycle, their duration, and whether it is regular.

In the next step, the health provider will do a full-body clinical examination, starting with documenting height and weight measurements since growth spurts and weight gain surges can place added pressure on joints and articulations. The blood pressure and pulse rate are to be recorded next. The heart and lungs are major vital organs and are essential for any physical activity. Therefore, the health provider performs a careful evaluation of cardiovascular function. Even the slightest impairment could have significant limitations for the child’s ability to practice sports.

The rest of the physical examination aims to evaluate:

  • Neurological function: the brain with its peripheral input is the spearheads coordinator of body s movements. The smooth and balanced motion requires an intact neurological function, disruption of coordination ability results in an unbalanced and demented motion, which increases the risk of falls and injuries. Evaluation of neurological function is carried through reflex, coordination, and strength tests.
  • Eye exam: during a full physical review, the provider will check if the child can see correctly. If vision is impaired, the provider will refer the athlete to an ophthalmologist for new lens prescription or change in the existing lens.
  • Abdomen and groin exam: a genital exam for boys is of a particular significance to identify a genital hernia (a condition where internal organs, mostly intestines, break through the muscles wall of the abdomen), physical activity may further compromise this condition, increasing the pressure which pushes the organs into the hernia. Upon the findings of tenderness over the groan, the provider will prescribe Ct scan or echography for further investigations.

 

The physical exam also includes checkups of hearing, nose, throat, and ears, and skin. Depending on the findings and history, there may be a need for additional screening of hemoglobin and cholesterol levels in children prone to certain chronic diseases like obesity or anemia.

Fitness checkup

The last step culminates in an evaluation of the fitness level of your child. During the fitness check, the health provider makes a full assessment of aerobics fitness, muscle strength, flexibility, and endurance. The best way to evaluate your child’s aptitude for aerobics is to assess his heart activity at rest, followed by heart function evaluation under physical exercise stress. Evaluation of muscle strength through a set of push-ups gives an accurate estimation of the upper body s muscular endurance, vertical jumps to assess explosive power and planks to assess core stability. The most critical feet of this exam is to test flexibility. The health provider will determine mobility, posture, spine, joints, and articulations range of motion. Eventually, the health provider may identify areas prone to injury as well as advise specific therapeutical exercises and tips to build a healthier body for the work pout season.

The child with allergies:

Allergic athletes are more prone to allergen exposition in a sports environment, such as latex, sports drinks, insect bites, and certain medications like NSAIDs. Upon identifying such allergies either by screening or in the past medical history, the health provider will arrange strategies to help prevent allergic casualties in the sports field. Your child will also receive education on how to avoid potential allergens as well as how to deal with allergic flare-ups.

The child with asthma:

A child or teen with asthma needs individual evaluation before they can play sports. As long as asthma is appropriately managed and under control, the child can be active, play games, work out and be healthy, which subsequently will improve asthma.

Some games are more suitable for asthmatic children than others. Golf, yoga, and gentle biking are less likely to trigger flare-ups. Football and basketball are also safe choices.

During the physical exam, the health provider will make sure the condition is under control, and the child is receiving appropriate treatment with inhalers and long term medications. The health provider also prescribes a quick-relief medicine that the child should carry with him all the time. Even during workouts, as a quick solution for a sudden severe flare-up.

The asthmatic child will also receive a comprehensive education on which triggers to avoid during an exercise. These include :

  • skipping outdoor workouts when mold or pollen levels are high,
  • wearing a scarf in cold air,
  • breathing through the nose rather than the mouth, and
  • Always warming up before exercises.

 

Immunization checkup:

Vaccines are not just for kids, teens and older adults also need to stick to an immunization schedule, to protect themselves and their families. In the Sioux center health, we will check if your athlete is up to date with vaccination, and he or she will also receive immunizations that are due or missing.

Bottom line: Sioux Health Center offers a full head to toe body examination intended to assess your athlete’s general health and fitness level as well as to screen for existing illnesses and injuries. To ensure that any medical conditions are appropriately managed before the sports season, you can schedule an appointment at any time in the Sioux Center Health.