How Necessary Is It for My Child to Get a Sports Physical?

This beautiful time of year is a sign that spring sports are upon us! But before your child can even practice, Tennessee requires that children and teens pass a sports physical first.

Sports physicals are a necessary exam that evaluates the safety of children playing in organized sports. So, whether it’s baseball at Gresham Middle or soccer at Fountain City Elementary, your child needs a physical, and our AFC Urgent Care Fountain City team explains why below.

What Is a Sports Physical?

A sports physical exam is sometimes called a preparticipation physical examination (PPE), and as we said earlier, is an exam that evaluates and ensures the safety of children playing in organized sports.

During the physical, your healthcare provider will look for any health complications that could make it unsafe to participate in sports by reviewing the family’s medical history and requiring a passed physical exam. We’ve listed the common questions and evaluations of the exam below.

What a Common Sports Physical Entails

  • Serious illnesses among family members
  • Illnesses that your child may have now, such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy
  • Allergies
  • Past injuries, including concussions, sprains or bone fractures
  • Whether your child ever passed out, felt dizzy, had chest pain or had trouble breathing during exercise
  • Any medications your child is on, including over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements and prescription medications
  • Height and weight
  • Strength of your child’s heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat
  • Your child’s posture, joints, strength and flexibility

Are Sports Physicals Different for Boys and Girls?

The exam is basically the same for both genders, minus a few different questions for adolescent males and females. For instance, if the patient is female, questions about menstruation may be necessary, and those questions determine if there are any issues or if further tests are needed.

If you aren’t sure when to stop by our AFC center for a sports physical, we’ve listed some common rules of thumb below.

When to Get a Sports Physical

  • At least six weeks before starting any new sport
  • After an injury to assess an your student athlete’s ability to rejoin the chosen sport
  • If a sports physical is not required by your specific state, children should still get a sports physical by the 7th grade.

Our AFC Urgent Care Fountain City offers sports physicals, so don’t hesitate to stop by today!