It’s that time of year: Time for Pre-Participation Exams (PPE), also known as Sports Physicals. You already know that playing sports is a great way to keep your child fit and is a fun way for him/her to socialize and meet new friends. You might not know why it’s important to get a sports physical prior to the season.

Here are 3 reasons why your child needs a sports physical:

1) Assess physical fitness. A sports physical can determine whether your child is physically fit enough to play their preferred sport. A physician can advise on whether your child will be able to handle the strenuous physical activity associated with a particular sport.

2) Determine special accommodations, if needed. A physician can help you deal with health problems that may interfere with sports participation. For example, if your child suffers from asthma but is trying out for starting forward, a physician may prescribe a certain type of inhaler or adjust the dosage so that your child can breathe more easily when he/she runs.

3) Avoid illness and injuries. Your physician may be able to share some good training tips for avoiding injuries. For example, he or she may recommend certain stretching or strengthening activities, that help prevent injuries. A sports physical may also help identify risk factors that are linked to specific sports.

A sports physical typically includes a medical history, lifestyle discussion (drug/alcohol use, etc), a physical exam, and a determination of physical fitness. Medical history is an important part of the sports physical exam, so take time to answer the questions carefully.

An annual sports physical helps keep a pulse on your child’s fitness and also helps ensure that you catch any injury or condition as soon as possible. Schedule a sports physical today!