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Sports Physicals

As parents, we know that your top priority is your child’s health.  Participating in a club or school sport is a wonderful way to teach kids and teens about the importance of exercise and teamwork.  Raleigh Group offers comprehensive sports physicals to ensure your child is ready to get out there and play.

What is a Sports Physical?

A sports physical, also known as a preparticipation physical examination (PPE) is a routine exam to determine whether or not it’s safe for your child to participate in sport.  While not every state requires that your child have a sports physical, most do.  Regardless of whether or not your sport requires one, our pediatricians always recommend a PPE before engaging in a new physical activity.

It’s important to note that while most children and teens we see for a sport’s physical are in normal health, receiving this evaluation is a time when you may discover underlying issues such as untreated asthma or other even nutritional deficiencies.

Sports physicals are completely routine and part of a healthy child’s active life!

When Would My Child Need a Sports Physical?

If your child is interested in pursuing a sport at school, as part of a club, or with a church, we recommend scheduling a sport’s physical.  Typically, these organizations will provide you or your child with a form to fill out and get signed by your pediatrician.  Remember, during a PPE, we’re examining your child’s and your family’s medical history, just to rule out any potential complications that may arise.  Most injuries actually happen during practice, especially in environments where the temperature can be extreme.  We want to rule out any problems that may interfere with your child’s ability to participate in the sport of their choice.

How Long is a Sports Physical Valid?

Usually, your young athlete will need to have a sports physical every year.  This ensures that any injuries sustained in previous seasons have healed and that no new conditions have arisen.  This is important due to the fact that many sports involve some form of physical contact.  Breaks and strains are common.  In the case of full-contact sports, we also want to evaluate basic cognitive function in the event that they’ve experienced a head injury.

What to Expect at a Sports Physical

When you bring your child in for a sports physical, there is a list of items your doctor will cover with you.  Expect a thorough physical as well as an examination of your family history.  This can include items such as:

  • Allergies
  • Vaccines
  • History of past injuries
  • Drug use
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Family history of illness
  • Assessment of current illnesses like asthma 

What is the Difference Between a Normal Physical and a Sports Physical?

There are a few key differences between sports physical and an annual physical.

Sports Physical

A sports physical will focus on your child’s current health and medical history to ensure that they’re fit enough to participate in physical activity.  Your pediatrician will also check the following:

  • Overall muscle and bone health
  • Heart health
  • Height and weight
  • Blood pressure
  • Vision and hearing

Annual Physical

This type of physical differs from a PPE mostly in that it assesses not only physical well-being but also emotional health, as well as developmental milestones.  Many parents choose to have their child’s sport physical and routine wellness visit at the same time.  During a standard physical in addition to a normal checkup you can expect:

  • Developmental screening if necessary
  • Updating vaccinations records
  • Lab work
  • Preventative health screening

Raleigh Group is Here For Your Pediatric Needs

Raleigh Group Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine is here to help you make the most healthful decisions for your child’s future.  Sports are a great way to stay healthy while having fun.  Our pediatricians have helped hundreds of children in Memphis and surrounding areas get out there and play with confidence.  Schedule your sports physical today.