If your teen plays a school sport, the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) requires an athletic physical before your child is allowed to participate. These examinations differ from the annual check-up because they are specifically designed to uncover issues that could interfere with sports participation.
Athletic physicals are essential for the safety of your child because they identify potential problems that could arise during vigorous activity. In many cases, the issue can be addressed so that the individual can still participate in the sport of their choice. In some situations, you may learn your teen requires treatment before joining the team or in rare cases, your child might be barred from a particular sport entirely.
While you and your teen might see the athletic physical as merely a means to an end, there are numerous benefits of undergoing this ritual annually:
Athletic physicals are often broken down into two distinct components:
This process helps to uncover potential issues based on your teen’s health history as well as the family history of conditions. Items covered in the medical history might include:
You may complete the history with your physician or at home before the appointment. It is critical to answer every question carefully and accurately since this process can offer important clues about potential warning signs or issues that could affect safety or performance on the athletic field.
The second portion of an athletic physical consists of the examination performed by the physician. You can expect your doctor to perform any or all of the following steps:
Your doctor will also ask about drug, alcohol and tobacco use. Encourage your teen to be honest about these answers, since these substances can affect both health and athletic performance.
If everything checks out during the examination, your doctor will sign the form that allows your child to participate in that sport for the year. These physicals do need to be repeated annually to ensure new issues or concerns do not arise. The athletic physical does not take the place of a routine check-up, which should also be conducted each year by your teen’s doctor.