Many sports teams and schools require children to have a physical exam before being allowed to participate on a team. The pediatricians at Columbia Pediatrics in Long Beach, CA provide sports physicals and supporting paperwork to children from throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
Sports Physical Q & A
What are sports exams?
Sports exams are physical assessments for youths and teens who are planning to join a competitive sport or activity to ensure they are fit and healthy to participate. The exam is quick but comprehensive with the young athlete’s entire body and overall wellbeing and conditioning under review. The goals of a sports exam are to determine or detect the following:
- Overall health of the athlete
- Present fitness level of the athlete
- Conditions which could lead to injury
- Any existing injuries
- Development and physical maturity of the athlete
- Congenital anomalies which could increase risk of injury
Why does a youth need a physical before joining a sports team?
Many of the states have a legal requirement for young athletes to have a medical assessment before a sports season begins. Young people develop and change at a rapid pace, and an athlete’s health and well-being can be affected. While routine checkups provide the opportunity to monitor a child’s development, sports physicals supplement annual exams and focus specifically on his or her physical health and ability to participate in sport. The requirements for sports participation vary depending on school district and state; most sports teams require an annual physical and vaccination record to protect the overall well-being of the sports teams and to protect the overall health of the young athlete.
What is the difference between an annual exam and a sports physical?
The sports physical specifically checks a young athlete’s health and physical condition to ensure that he or she is fit and capable of participating in a specific sport without undue risk of injury. An annual physical exam monitors the development and health of a child and is an opportunity for developmental as well as medical screenings. In both physicals, the doctor will perform a variety of tests and checks to record the child’s progress. Many of the tests and measurements administered during a sports exam are similar to those of a standard annual physical but are reviewed with a specific view as to how the results indicate the child will perform in his or her sport.