Getting a High School Sports Physical: What You Need to Know
In many states, high school sports physicals are required before a student can participate in any school-sanctioned sports team, activity, or event. This is because of the increasing number of sports-related injuries and health issues that teenagers suffer while playing sports. Going through a thorough physical examination before engaging in sports can help reduce the risk of suffering from avoidable injuries and health problems ranging from minor issues like sprains and repetitive strains to more serious problems such as heat stroke, asthma attacks, and even heart ailments.
Why Undergo a Pre-Participation Physical Exam?
Sports are a big part of the lives of many high school students. Whether it is basketball, football, soccer, tennis, track and field, competitive cheer leading, or any other sports activity, the risk of injury will always be present. Many of these injuries and health issues can be avoided by checking a teenager’s physical fitness level and medical history before allowing them to engage in a sport of their choice. While a pre-participation physical exam is not requirement in many other states, it’s still a good idea for teens to take this test before joining any sports team.
The benefits of undergoing high school sports physicals outweigh the cost of getting them. Not only is the student given clearance to play sports, a pre-participation physical examination can help prevent many avoidable injuries from happening during the performance of a particular sport. A physical exam also aids in assessing a child’s physical fitness and it can also help identify any health issues that may cause more health problems in the long run. This type of medical test does not in any way replace an annual physical examination, but it does open our eyes to health issues we may have overlooked in the past that can be triggered or aggravated by sports activities.
What to Expect from High School Sports Physicals
High school sports physicals are usually done during the summer or several weeks before the school’s sports season begin. The clearances given to student athletes are valid for the duration of the school year and need to be renewed every year. These tests can be performed in school where stations are set up around the school gym and students who want to get sports clearance can have the tests done by licensed medical professionals. Teenagers can also go to their pediatricians or primary care physicians to get a more thorough exam.
During the test, the health care professional will take down the student’s medical history which includes previous injuries, illnesses, and hospitalizations due to issues that may limit or inhibit one from performing a particular sport or intense physical activities. After the student’s medical history is recorded, a thorough check up follows. After the check up, the doctor or health care provider will decide whether or not the student is fit for sports. The decision on whether the student will be able to play with or without restrictions will be based on the results of the physical exam and the particular sport and level of competition the student is engaged in.
Getting your teenagers into sports is a great way to teach them the value of responsibility, teamwork, and camaraderie, but learning these lessons through sports comes with some risks. High school sports physicals are the best way to minimize the risks and keep your children safe and healthy.
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