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What to Expect During a Sports Physical

What to Expect During a Sports Physical

sports physical

You can feel it in the air. Spring is almost here. Everyone is no longer cooped up in their homes, and spring sports can begin! Before your child joins a team, be sure they’ve had their spring sports physical.

The purpose of a sports physical is to determine if your child is can take part in certain sports. Most states require children and teens have a sports physical before they can start a new sport or begin a new competitive season. Even if sports physicals aren’t required, they’re still recommended by medical professionals. Mississippi does require sports physicals.

Sports physicals help your medical care provider discover and treat problems that could interfere with your child’s sports participation. For example, if a child prone to asthma attacks is playing football this year, that child might need a different inhaler or a change in their dose. These changes are to ensure the child can breathe easily while running.

Usually, a sports physical consists of two parts: medical history and a physical exam.

Medical History

The medical history part of the exam includes questions about:

  • serious illnesses among family members
  • illnesses that your child had when they were younger or may have now, such as asthma, diabetes, or epilepsy
  • previous hospitalizations or surgeries
  • allergies (to insect bites, for example)
  • past injuries (including concussions, sprains, or bone fractures)
  • whether your child has ever passed out, felt dizzy, had chest pain, or had trouble breathing during exercise
  • any medications that your child takes (including over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, and prescription medications)

These questions are usually on a form you fill out and send back to school. You can find the Mississippi Athletic Pre-participation Form compiled by the Mississippi High School Activities Association here.

Physical Examination

During the physical part of the exam, the medical health professional will usually:

  • record your child’s height and weight
  • take a blood pressure and pulse (heart rate and rhythm)
  • test your child’s vision (screened with glasses/contact lenses)
  • check your child’s heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose, and throat
  • check your child’s posture, joints, strength, and flexibility

Most of the exam will be the same for males and females, but if your child has started or already gone through puberty, the medical care professional may ask girls and guys different questions. For example, a healthcare provider may ask a girl about her period and diet to ensure she doesn’t have the female athlete triad (poor nutrition, irregular or absent period, and weak bones). A healthcare professional may also ask an older student about the use of drugs, alcohol and dietary supplements like performance enhancers.

Sports physicals help protect athletes by preventing problems on the field and court before they happen. Mantachie Rural Health Care offers thorough physicals and promptly supplies the documentation you need. If your son or daughter needs a sports physical please contact Mantachie Rural Health Care at (662) 282-4226.

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