Get Ready for the New School Year

As the school year kicks off, many children are preparing to dive deep into their preferred sports.  Because of the intense physical challenges that can come from schoolyard athletics, students are required to receive a physical check up from a doctor to assure they have the ability and health required to participate in such events.  These preparticipation physical exams, or PPEs, determine whether or not the child is allowed to be involved.   School sports physicals are non-invasive, and they can be divided into two basic parts:


1. Medical History

Knowing (and making sure your child knows) about their personal and familial medical history is crucial to making sure they are prepared to participate in major activity.  Something as simple as an improperly healed broken bone from some years back can be a serious hindrance to a child’s ability to perform in athletics.  Questions about drug and alcohol use, diet, or basic lifestyle should be answered completely honestly.  Failing to provide accurate information in response to a doctor’s queries can have serious repercussions down the line, as the patient will not have been properly assessed on their individual experience.   Sharing their family medical history, especially including hereditary conditions, can also offer doctors a roadmap towards what to consider as issues that may arise.

2. Physical Examination

The “physical” part of a sports physical includes gathering basic information about the individual in question.  Height and weight are recorded.  Vision is tested.  Blood pressure and heartbeat should be checked and measured, along with verifying the healthiness of major networks like the pulmonary, circulatory, and abdominal systems.  Bone structure and frame is also considered. 

While these may not seem like difficult examinations, they are vitally important in the arena of sports.  In the event that a child fails his physical examination and is denied a position on his or her team, usually a follow up will be arranged to try and resolve the issues.  If the problem persists, yet the child is ever keen about participating in school activities, consider seeing a specialist to find out if they can hep.    Even after receiving the all clear from a doctor, it is important to schedule regular check-ups.  A routine physical is important to athletes, as their bodies go through so much wear-and-tear. 

The Children’s Clinic is a professional association of pediatricians that have been providing the people of Tennessee with quality care for decades.  Our highly qualified staff offers compassionate, personalized care from birth through the teenage years.  Our office is located at 264 Coatsland Drive in Jackson, TN.  You can reach us by calling 731-423-1500 or via our website,