An athlete's most important asset is their body. If your child is a sports enthusiast, you should instill in them the importance of taking good care of their health. Good health will allow them to have a safe athletic experience in school and beyond. A sports medicine doctor can help your child achieve their full potential. Here are four things a sport physical service can do for your student-athlete:
1. Ensure they are meeting age-appropriate milestones.
Sports can be very physically demanding. Between games and practice, your child will end up burning a lot of calories. Proper nutrition is important for young athletes, especially since their bodies are still growing. At your child's sports physical, their doctor will measure their weight and height. The doctor will want to make sure that your child isn't underweight. Female athletes will be asked questions about their menstrual cycle since a lack of menstrual periods can indicate malnourishment. If your child is underweight, their sports medicine doctor may recommend calorie-dense supplements to get their weight up.
2. Check for injuries.
Injuries are unfortunately quite common among children who are serious about sports. Tendinitis, sprains, and repetitive stress injuries can arise in kids who practice often. Falling or getting hit by a ball can cause injuries that may have lasting effects if they aren't treated promptly. During your child's sports physical, a doctor will assess your child's physical condition, checking for lingering damage from old injuries. If necessary, they can prescribe treatments to alleviate the effects of such injuries. Braces, ice, and ibuprofen can encourage repetitive stress injuries to heal, so your child can get back to playing the sports they love.
3. Check for asthma.
Asthma can be quite common in children. Mild forms of asthma might go undetected until your child starts participating in vigorous physical activity. During a sport physical exam, a doctor will listen to your child's lungs. They will also ask some questions to determine if your child has ever experienced shortness of breath. Asthma doesn't have to stop your child from playing sports, but they will need the right medication in order to do so safely.
4. Clear your child for sports participation.
Some schools require a letter from a doctor, certifying that your child is healthy enough to participate in their chosen sport. This requirement is typically given in order to limit the school's liability. At the end of your child's sport physical, their doctor can give the necessary records, which can be turned in to your child's coaches and the school administration.