With the summer fast approaching, there is certain to be more children and adolescents participating in organized sports. It is important to know if your child will require a sports physical to participate. If they do, it is important to make an appointment with their doctor well in advance of the start of the sporting season. Early evaluation can help identify medical problems that may need further evaluation, additional rehabilitation or treatment in order to safely participate. Sports physicals can also help uncover more serious conditions that can put your child at risk for life-threatening complications during sports participation. Furthermore, sports physicals are a good way to make sure underlying health conditions are appropriately managed. This will allow the athlete to participate in the appropriate sport and perform at their best level.
If sports physicals are scheduled with your child’s primary care provider, they can provide other services such as updating vaccines, discuss high risk behaviors, provide age appropriate guidance, talk about safety issues and address any other health concerns that may be present. If a WIAA form is needed, that can be obtained at the www.wiaawi.org website. It is always a good idea to have the forms completed prior to the appointment.
I hope everyone has a fun, safe and enjoyable sports season.
By Luke Tremble, MD, pediatrician, ThedaCare Physicians Pediatrics - Appleton.