If your child has chosen to play organized sports, congratulations! They are in for a lifetime of healthy exercise and valuable life lessons. But if they’re not prepared physically for the rigors of their particular sport, they could be at risk for injuries and other health hazards.
This is where the sports physical comes in, and where our team at Calvary Urgent Care in Humble, Texas, can help you and your child navigate the process. Our board-certified physician, Anne Garrison, DO, specializes in sports medicine and has a deep understanding of the physical requirements to participate fully and safely in athletics.
You may think your child looks perfectly healthy, and you’re probably right. Sports physicals rarely uncover a mystery condition that would prevent them from participating, but when they do, they can save your child from unnecessary pain and suffering. Here’s some of the valuable information a sports physical offers:
While injuries and illnesses related to unknown conditions is rare, it’s best to know if your child is at risk. For instance, if they have an undetected heart condition, life-threatening allergies, or a history of asthma attacks, it’s important to know these facts before the season begins, so precautions can be taken to keep your child safe and healthy.
The sports physical and the annual exam are two different things. A sports physical is more limited in scope, but more in-depth as your health relates to your specific sport.
An annual physical focuses on your overall well-being, and the sports physical centers on health aspects like strength, flexibility, vision, hearing, lung and heart health, and posture. Both types of exams cover some of the same topics, but one is not a substitute for the other.
You’ll receive a form from your child’s school or organization that lists specific questions for you to answer, including health history details. You may be tempted to rush through this section, but we recommend you pay close attention to these questions.
Your child’s health history is a key component of the sports physical, as it gives us insight and valuable information about your child’s state of health and propensity for illness and injury. It tells us:
Knowing what your child has already had and what genetic factors might be at play can help us prepare you and your child for a well-informed and safe athletic experience.
When we perform a sports physical at Calvary Urgent Care, we tailor the exam and our questions to your child’s age, sport, and unique needs. If she has already gone through puberty, we may ask you daughter about her menstrual cycles and her diet to determine her risk for female athlete triad syndrome.
We may also ask your teenager about drug and alcohol use, performance enhancers (including energy drinks), weight loss supplements, and any other similar products they may use. We engage in these conversations respectfully and do our best to make sure your child feels comfortable, while also impressing upon them the importance of safe and proper nutrition.
Our goal is not to find a way to keep your child from participating in sports; it’s quite the opposite. We are here to maximize your child’s performance and experience by eliminating obstacles. For instance, if your child plays volleyball and their elbow hurts, we want to strengthen that joint so they can keep playing.
If we refer you to a specialist or have you come back for a certain test, rest assured we’re on your team and ensuring your athlete begins the season with an advantage.
Sports physical requirements tend to sneak up on you, so make your appointment early. It’s a good idea to get it taken care of about a month ahead of your child’s season. And given the current restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, protocol has changed somewhat to protect your family and our staff, including operating hours and number of patients seen per day.
But we’re here for you and your child and ready to get you set for the coming sports events, so give us a call or book an appointment online today.