Is Your Child an Athlete? Consider a Sports Physical

Is Your Child an Athlete? Consider a Sports Physical

Whether they try their hand at tennis, volleyball, soccer, baseball, or one of the many other sports available to kids these days, if your child is one of the 70% of kids ages 6-12 who join a team or play an individual sport or one of the 8 million teenagers involved in organized sports once they reach high school, they’re going to need a sports physical every year before their season starts.

If you live in the McKinney or Farmers Ranch communities in Texas, you have a great resource on your team — Dr. Venkata Vallury at Redwood Family Health Center. As an experienced pediatrician, Dr. Vallury understands the unique needs of your child’s developing body and uses the sports physical as a tool to make sure it’s safe for them to participate fully in their chosen sport. Here’s why it’s so important.

Protection and prevention

For all the joy and undeniable social and physical benefits of athletics, it also comes with some clear dangers. Even if your child plays a noncontact sport, the potential for injury is always present.

The last thing you, the coach, and your child wants is to face an injury, especially one that can be prevented. That’s why every sport includes protective gear specifically designed to keep vulnerable body parts safe. 

A sports physical is like the pads, helmets, shin guards, and knee pads athletes wear every time they play — it’s a measure of protection and prevention. By evaluating your child’s overall health through the lens of the type of activity they engage in, Dr. Vallury can alert them to potential dangers, correct structural problems before they interfere and lead to injury, and give you and your child the assurance that they are entering their season with a clean bill of health.

Why sports physicals are important

Most athletic programs require players to undergo a sports physical, also called a participation physical exam (PPE), before allowing the child to play. This ensures your child’s safety and also allows the organization to do its due diligence by looking after the best interests of the children and their families.

If you think your child doesn’t need a sports physical because they already had an annual check-up, think again. The PPE focuses on different things, and Dr. Vallury adjusts the exam to be sport-specific. Here’s what the PPE entails.

Overall health check

Whether your kid is in sports for exercise, fun, to win, or all three — all of those goals require a healthy body that can perform. As children get older, their practices become more rigorous and their games become more competitive, which puts more and more stress on their bodies.

Dr. Vallury checks their joint health, strength, heart and lung function, and overall fitness to make sure they are prepared for the season ahead.

Underlying conditions

Some sports injuries occur because there was an underlying condition no one knew about. Heart conditions, nerve and muscle disorders, blood pressure problems, and joint issues may be asymptomatic and only come to light when they fail on the field. 

Even if your child doesn’t have any of these underlying conditions, they may have lifestyle habits that make them susceptible to health problems. For example, eating disorders, drug and alcohol use, and sexual activity may put your child at risk for health problems that will hinder their ability to participate in sports.

Monitoring health problems

Not all health issues will sideline your child. If Dr. Vallury identifies an issue, he may determine that the best course of action is to wait and see how it develops. Knowing a problem exists puts you and your child in the best position to prevent a budding problem from turning into a major injury. 

Body awareness and education

Successful athletes understand their bodies very well and can detect even the slightest malfunction, a highly specialized skill that every athlete needs to hone. To a nonathlete, a twinge of pain in the lower back or a stiff knee may be no big deal, but in competitive sports, those seemingly minor complaints may indicate a weakness that will lead to injury when they play. 

Dr. Vallury educates our athlete-patients so they get to know their body and understand what healthy feels like, what type of pain needs attention, how to strengthen their body parts so they work in harmony, and how to execute athletic movements safely.

If your child is gearing up for a sports season, put them in the game with every advantage. Schedule a sports physical at Redwood Family Health Center today by calling our friendly staff in either McKinney or Farmers Ranch, or book online. 

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