Physicals for children are a great way to learn about your child’s overall health. While most students only have a physical done before participating in a school sport, back-to-school physicals for non-athletic students can also be beneficial by making the parent aware of any potential health concerns.
Back to school physicals
A back-to-school physical is an annual, routine exam to better understand your child’s health. These physicals can be performed by the child’s pediatric doctor who has established a medical history and knows how your teen has grown and changed throughout their life. The physician will measure height, weight, pulse, and blood pressure, while also examining the eyes, ears, nose and throat; neck, chest and lymph nodes; heart and abdomen; skin and muscles; and the joints and spine. This ensures that the physician covers all the basics and to alert the child and parent of any underlying issues.
Physicals in sports
One of the necessary tasks before participating in sports during school is having a yearly physical completed. According to a study completed in the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2015, 50 states require a PPE (Preparticipation Physical Evaluation) before any sports participation. The sports physical is similar to the back to school physical; however, the physician specifically looks at the child’s family history to see whether the child has any diseases or injuries that could make it unsafe to participate in sports. This is to ensure the safety of your child by deciding whether they’re physically able to play the sport.
Why are physicals for children important?
Appointments for physicals are short and sweet. However, despite their concise nature, they are still beneficial in making you aware of your child’s overall health. They can determine whether your child has any issues that would prevent them from playing sports and if your child has any other issues that you should be concerned about. Should it be the latter, the physician performing the exam would then refer your child to a specialist that focuses on treatment for that specific issue.
What should I ask the doctor during the physical?
Attending your child’s physical appointment is a great opportunity to ask the doctor any questions you may have. This could be anything from your family’s medical history and whether any of those issues could affect your child to questions specifically catered toward the sport your child wishes to participate in. It is important to be honest with the physician and discuss any concerns you may already have as well as any concerns you may have become aware of during the examination.
Beneficial to all
Having your child get a physical done can be beneficial for both you and your child, no matter if it’s a back-to-school or a sports physical. It is a great way to learn more about your child, their overall health, and any health concerns you may have about them. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions at the appointment; ask any questions you may have so that you leave the appointment feeling confident in understanding your child’s health.
At Hampton Family Practice, we have the best interest of your entire family in mind. And, when it comes to your children, we know that physicals are a great way to keep tabs on their growth and development. Contact us today to set up a physical for your child!