download (15)With summer coming to an end and fall sports just around the corner, it is essential that  teens are at the top of their game.  Physicals are so important when it comes to evaluating the health of a child.  There are just a few simple steps to follow in order to assure that athletes are in tip-top shape.

Knowing the athlete’s family history is one of the first steps to ensuring his/her well being.  By informing the doctor about potential health risks that run in his/her family, the doctor is able to focus in on certain factors that may affect the teen.  For example, if there are any heart defects that run in the family, the doctor will be able to run tests on the athlete to make sure that his/her heart is strong and healthy enough to play sports.  Another tip to remember when visiting the doctor is to inform them about any previous sports-related injuries or prior surgeries.  This will also allow them to determine if the athlete is able to withstand the stress that sports can place on his/her body.

The next step includes the examination process.  The examination allows the doctor to identify any defects or weaknesses that were not physically noticeable or previously known.  This step usually entails simple tests such as hearing, vision, and balance.  Doctors will also conduct a thorough examination of the neck, spine, and upper and lower extremities to make sure all are functioning properly.  Depending on the sport, some teams will undergo additional tests to evaluate their players.  Such tests include flexibility, strength, endurance, speed, power and agility.  All are vital in determining the physical ability of the athlete.

These simple steps will play a major role in keeping the players safe when participating in physically demanding activities.  If any health risks are determined during this process, then the doctor can provide  proper treatments or therapy to eliminate the risk.  Physicals for sports clearly have many benefits; however, they do not take the place of a full physical, so it is important that you take your child for a full physical as well.  With these simple steps,parents can feel confident that they are doing everything they can to assure their child’s safety on the field.