Many school or community sports teams will require a physical before you or your child can being playing or often even just try out for the team. This means that if you son Jim wants to play baseball and your daughter Kylie wants to play basketball, they will both need physicals—even if it’s just for an elementary school team. But what does a physical entail?
The exact steps of a physical will vary depending on the individual clinic or doctor, but there will be some parts that are fairly universal. For example, the physical will almost always start by taking the child’s pulse, blood pressure, and measurements. This helps the nurses and doctors know the basics about your child’s health. A lot can actually be inferred from a heartbeat.
But the exam does not stop after that. In fact, it’s only beginning. A physical will almost always check other important organs, such as:
- Heart and cardiovascular system
- Lungs and respiratory system (nose and throat)
- Ears and eyes
These will help provide your child’s doctors and nurses with an idea of how fit they are and if there are any limitations they recommend for physical activity.
Next, a physical will examine strength, reflexes, and flexibility, especially in the joints and in the way the child stands. If there are any problems, those conducting the physical will be able to give tips for a stronger body, as well as point out areas that might be more vulnerable to injury.
This is all then compared to your child’s past medical history, and a final diagnosis is made. It is a fairly simple process. And more than anything, it is just for peace of mind and to catch any potential problems beforehand. Why worry about hurting your knee when you can find out early in the season that it is troublesome and then wear a brace to prevent injury.
Short and Sweet
Depending on the sport and what else is required by the school or clinic, the physical might cover some more subjects, but even then the time frame is short, simple, and sweet. It’s no problem for a kid to sit through, and it will help them get out and run around.