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The Importance of Camp & Sports Physicals

Spring and summer are filled with fun activities for kids, from sports seasons to various available camps. These are great ways for kids to practice social skills, teamwork, and stay physically active. However, before beginning any such activity, it’s important to be evaluated by a medical professional to ensure the child can safely enjoy the activities.

What the Physician is Evaluating during a Physical

Anytime a physical is performed, the doctor will check your child’s height and weight, blood pressure, and heart rate, as well as check the heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat for signs of any potential health issues. The doctor will also evaluate the child’s posture, joint functionality, strength and flexibility to assess risk of potential injury.

In conjunction with the physical portion of the exam, the doctor will also review your child’s personal and family medical history in order to see if there are any patterns that could help identify possible developing conditions or a present, undiagnosed issue. As a parent or guardian, you will want to be sure and bring information regarding:

  • Serious illnesses experienced by family members
  • Illnesses that were present when the child was younger or may currently have, including asthma, diabetes or epilepsy
  • Previous hospitalizations or surgeries
  • Known allergies
  • Previous injuries, including concussions, sprains or fractures
  • Any occurrence of passing out, dizziness, chest pain, or trouble breathing during exercise
  • List of current medications (over-the-counter, supplements, and prescriptions included)

Why the Physical is Important

The medical history information combined with the physical exam will provide the doctor with a more complete picture of the child’s overall health, and will allow him or her to provide any recommendations to help prevent or how to watch for any potential genetic health issues. Finding any concerns during an exam does not necessarily mean the child will not be able to participate, but could simply provide more effective precaution against any issues. For example, if your child has asthma and is wanting to play soccer, the doctor may prescribe a different type of inhaler or adjust the typical dosage to help compensate for the extra running.

If your child plans to attend a summer camp, medical history is vital as it will help staff be prepared against a potential health hazard, such as a bee sting if your child is allergic, or a previous injury that may make a certain activity more difficult or uncomfortable. Camp should be a fun experience, but an unknown issue could quickly make it dangerous if unprepared.

Be sure your child is ready for summer fun with a comprehensive sports or camp physical. If you’ve been putting it off due to scheduling issues, don’t wait any longer. Visit any of our convenient locations for a physical when it works for your family and start enjoying the season!