How to Get Your Kids Ready for Spring Sports

May 25, 2017
Three young girls walk down a sidewalk holding a soccer ball, football, and helmet.

As spring rolls around, kids eagerly anticipate getting back onto the field or court for their favorite sports. For parents, this means ensuring their children are both physically and mentally prepared for the season ahead—which includes collecting the proper paperwork, taking their little ones in for physicals, and much more. Here’s a quick guide you can follow to help make sure your child’s spring athletic season is safe and manageable. 

The Importance of Sports Physicals for Kids

Before your child can hit the field, they may need a physical examination to ensure they are healthy and fit to participate in sports. Sports physicals are important because they provide:

  • An assessment of overall health – Sports physicals provide an opportunity for healthcare providers to assess your child's overall health and wellness. During the exam, your provider will review your child's medical history, including any past injuries or illnesses, as well as family medical history. This comprehensive evaluation helps identify any underlying medical conditions that may affect your child's ability to safely participate in sports.
  • Screening for potential risks – The sports physical exam includes a thorough evaluation of your child's cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system, and other vital functions. This helps identify any risk factors or pre-existing conditions that could predispose your child to injury during physical activity. Conditions such as asthma, heart murmurs, or musculoskeletal abnormalities may require special precautions or modifications to ensure your child's safety while participating in sports.
  • Documentation of eligibility – Many schools and sports leagues require proof of a recent sports physical before allowing children to participate in organized athletics. This documentation serves as evidence that your child has been evaluated by a healthcare provider and deemed physically fit to engage in sports activities. Without a current sports physical, your child may be ineligible to participate in sports.

Sports physicals also help identify any underlying health issues or physical limitations that could increase the risk of sports-related injuries. By addressing these concerns proactively, healthcare providers can provide personalized recommendations for injury prevention, such as proper conditioning, equipment fitting, and technique instruction. This proactive approach can help reduce the risk of injuries and promote a safe and enjoyable sports experience for children.

Sports Physicals at PhysicianOne

While it’s certainly a top priority for your child to receive a sports physical, it may be difficult to squeeze in a doctor’s visit into your family’s busy schedule. That’s why PhysicianOne Urgent Care is proud to offer physicals 365 days per year on a walk-in basis. Our experienced providers will assess your child's overall health, screen for any underlying medical conditions, and provide all the necessary paperwork for sports eligibility. With our quick and convenient service, you can skip the hassle of scheduling appointments at overcrowded primary care offices and ensure your child is ready to play this spring.

Setting Your Kids Up for Safety & Success

While sports can help your child build character, teamwork, and social skills, they also often come with risks. You can minimize your child’s chances of injury by taking the following precautions:

  • Ensure your child has properly-fitted equipment. Helmets, mouthguards, and other protective gear should fit snugly to provide maximum protection. PhysicianOne Urgent Care can provide guidance on proper fit and offer recommendations for high-quality safety gear.
  • Emphasize hydration and nutrition at home. Whenever possible, try to encourage your child to eat a balanced meal before practices and games and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Our providers can offer nutritional advice to optimize performance and recovery for your children.
  • Make sure your child is aware of what to look for. The more conscientious your child is of their physical health, the more likely they’ll be to report any injuries or concerns.
  • Maintain open lines of communication with your child’s coach. Talk to your child's coach to ensure they are aware of any medical conditions or concerns your child may have. The team at PhysicianOne Urgent Care is happy to provide coaches with important medical information to help keep your child safe during practices and games.
  • Encourage proper warm-up and cool-down techniques. Emphasize the importance of stretching and warming up before activity and cooling down afterward to prevent injury. 
  • Reinforce the importance of rest. Sometimes, our kids can feel invincible. But when they’re participating in sports on a regular basis, it’s crucial that your child receives adequate sleep to prevent injury.

When to Seek Medical Attention for Injuries

It's not uncommon for children to suffer injuries during athletic competitions. If your child has experienced any of the following, then it’s crucial to visit your nearest emergency room as quickly as possible:

  • Head injury
  • Chest pain
  • Severe bone break
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Troubling sensations that might indicate a stroke or cardiac event

If, on the other hand, your child endures a sprain, bone fracture, or minor cut, PhysicianOne Urgent Care can provide timely, expert medical attention at a fraction of the cost. While all parents hope for a safe sports season, it's smart to have a plan of action in case an unforeseen injury requires prompt medical care.

A Bit About PhysicianOne

At PhysicianOne Urgent Care, we understand the importance of having accessible, prompt, convenient, and high-quality healthcare for your child. With our extended hours, walk-in availability, and integrated 24/7 telehealth services, we make it easy for you to access the care your family needs, when you need it most. Our experienced providers are trained in emergency, internal, and family medicine, ensuring your child receives expert care for their physicals and sports-related injuries. Plus, with same-day lab testing and on-site X-ray capabilities, we offer comprehensive diagnostic services to accurately assess and treat most minor injuries. If you reside in Connecticut, Massachusetts, or New York, you can trust PhysicianOne Urgent Care to keep your kids safe and healthy on and off the field this spring.

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