Participation in organized sports has a wide range of physical, emotional, and social benefits. It helps to promote physical fitness, improve self-esteem, and helps kids learn teamwork. As a parent, you need to make sure your child is healthy enough to play sports safely, so a sports physical is required before they even step on the field or court.
About sports physicals
A sports physical, also known as a pre-participation physical examination (PPE), helps to determine whether a child is able to safely take part in a sport. Most schools and athletic leagues demand this evaluation before a student can take part in any practice or games. This rule also applies to students participating in athletics across North Carolina.
If your child’s school or sports team requires a PPE, our medical team at First Pediatric Care Center can determine if it’s safe for your child to play a particular sport. Led by Dr. Margaret Lubega, a pediatrician with nearly 20 years of experience, our team treats all young patients with care, compassion, and empathy.
Preparing for the sports physical exam
When visiting the doctor for a pediatric sports physical, you'll need to update your child's medical records, including:
- current immunizations
- list of known allergies
- prescription medications your child takes
- new medical issues, if any
Your child's sports physical will consist of a verbal walk-through of your child’s medical history followed by an extensive physical evaluation.
Understanding their medical history
First, Dr. Lubega will discuss your child’s medical history, including past illnesses, surgeries, or injuries. She'll ask about your family history to assess if any hereditary health issues that may impact physical performance.
It's vital that you include as many details as possible in your answers, so the doctor gets an accurate picture of your child’s health. This comprehensive data collection also allows her to understand and evaluate any potential medical risks based on past experiences and issues.
An extensive physical examination
Next, Dr. Lubega will perform a thorough physical exam. She'll check your child’s:
- Height and weight
- Blood pressure and heart rate
- Vision and hearing
- Heart and lungs
- Posture, joints, and flexibility
These tests help Dr. Lubega understand your child’s physical well-being, assess their growth and development, and make sure they're in the best shape for the sport.
At the end of the sports physical, Dr. Lubega will determine if it’s safe for your child to participate. If she does, she'll complete the forms you need to return to the school or league. If she feels there should be further evaluation and medical tests done, she'll recommend the next steps to be taken.
The pediatric sports physical and the assessments that go along with it are critical because they ensure your child is healthy enough to enjoy their chosen sport safely. We can also talk with you and your child about ways to help prevent sports injuries, whenever possible.
Here at First Pediatric Care Center in Gastonia, North Carolina, we're passionate about helping your child remain strong, healthy, and safe while playing their chosen sport. If your child needs a pediatric sports physical, book an appointment online or call the office to schedule your child's exam today.