School physicals for sports are mandatory for several reasons. An athletic physical can indicate areas in which a student athlete's health may need to improve or ways in which exercise can be tailored to best fit the student’s physical health. It can also indicate potential health problems like epilepsy, diabetes, or a heart condition that may make it difficult for a student to compete, and ways in which a student can still participate in athletics with preventive measures in place for the student’s health and safety. During the physical, the doctor will check the athletes' heart, upper respiratory system, muscle tone, and reflexes to determine they are healthy enough for the level of activity they are signing up for. Doctors can recommend dietary changes, exercises, and health tips that may help the student be better prepared for the sport they have chosen.
Doctors often recommend every child receive a school physical before returning to class each year. An annual school physical will make sure the child has everything they need to remain healthy throughout the school year. Any vaccinations that were missed will be given and if an illness is present, it can be effectively treated prior to the child going to school. During a school physical exam, doctors will check for a variety of health conditions. By receiving an examination, a child can go to school with a clean bill of health and not worry about whether or not they are passing a contagious illness such as a cold or flu virus from one person to another. This can reduce the student's exposure to lice as well. School physicals help to make school a healthy environment for all.
A sports physical can provide the doctor with an abundance of vital information, such as the condition of the heart and lungs, possible complications with blood sugar, or abnormalities that are often found in the skeleton, like scoliosis. When performing a sports physical, it is the doctor's goal to prove that the child is healthy enough to participate in vigorous athletic activities. Their heart should be healthy enough to withstand strenuous activity, while the lungs should be able to supply the body with sufficient amounts of oxygen to maintain that level of activity. During a physical examination, the doctor may take note of certain weaknesses and strengths so they may be discussed with the student and proper advice given to help them maintain good health.
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