Making Sure Your Athlete Stays Safe On the Field
Is your child planning to play organized sports or join a physical activity like marching band or drill team? If so, their school or organization may require a yearly sports physical. HealthCARE Express offers sports physicals for $35 and EKGs for an additional $25—no appointment needed!
Why are sports physicals important?
Sports physicals can play a huge role in your student athlete’s health. While there are tons of benefits to playing sports, there are also risks. According to the CDC, an estimated 2.6 million children visit the ER each year for sports-related injuries. Sixty-two percent of those injuries occur during practice. A sports physical can reveal health issues that can affect whether your child can play a sport safely.
What happens during a sports physical?
During a sports physical, the doctor will talk to the athlete about their medical history. This might cover immunizations, previous injuries, medications, and their exercise level. Make sure to take your time with this part, especially the cardiac history. The doctor will also ask the athlete about the use of drugs, alcohol, or supplements like weight loss supplements or performance enhancers.
Then, the doctor will perform the physical part of the exam. This includes checking height and weight, taking blood pressure and pulse, and testing vision. The doctor will check the lungs, heart, abdomen, ears, nose, and throat. They’ll also check posture, joint strength, and flexibility. Depending on the athlete’s age, the doctor might order a cholesterol screen, hemoglobin count, and urinalysis. For male athletes, the doctor will perform a genital exam to screen for hernias. Females will discuss their menstrual cycle with the doctor.
Why are these things important? The doctor might find a health issue that needs treatment before the athlete can play. For example, the eye exam may reveal that an athlete needs corrective lenses before playing a high-impact sport. In this case, the doctor can clear the athlete to play after he or she has been treated for the issue. It’s very rare for doctors to find an issue that keeps an athlete off the field for good.
When should my child get a sports physical?
It’s ideal to schedule a sports physical six to eight weeks before the season starts. That leaves plenty of time to seek treatment for a condition or to see a specialist if needed.
Does insurance cover a sports physical?
Many insurance policies don’t cover sports physicals, but luckily, they're very affordable. HeathCARE Express offers sports physicals for $35 and EKGs for $25.
Does my athlete need an EKG?
The State of Texas encourages young athletes to get an EKG with their sports physicals, though parents can opt-out. It’s a good idea to get one, though. A simple EKG test can reveal hidden heart problems, which could save the athlete’s life.
Is your child ready for his or her sports physical? It’s easy—just visit your closest HeathCARE Express!