A sports physical, known in the medical field as a pre-participation physical examination (PPE), helps to determine whether or not a child (or adult) is physically able to participate in a sport safely. Plus, anyone starting a new exercise routine or sport should always first talk to a healthcare professional, and sports physicals offer an easy way to do so.
It’s important to note that a sports physical does not take the place of a regular annual checkup or physical because a sports physical focuses on health history that may have a direct impact on a child’s ability to play a sport.
While a sports physical does typically cover much of what happens during an annual physical or exam, it’s still important to schedule a separate annual checkup for your little one in addition to any physicals that may be required for participation in sports.
Most states require all student athletes to complete a sports physical before participating in any school-sanctioned sport. However, non-student athletes playing in club or recreational sports may also be required to pass a sports physical before they’re eligible to hit the field. Kids are often sent home with the necessary forms – but we know that more often than not, papers get lost somewhere between math class and the bus stop. Coaches and school administrators are often your best resource for information related to any required sports physicals.