It’s only the first inning of the spring and summer sports season. Baseball is back, summer soccer practices have started, and other events like summer camps are already in full swing. But before all the fun and excitement begins, it’s a great idea to get a sports physical.
For many organizations and groups that sponsor summer camps and sports leagues, a sports physical isn’t a mere nice-to-have — it’s a requirement. For example, the Boy Scouts of America require a physical examination for all youths who participate in every camp that lasts at least 3 days. If your child plans to attend YMCA camps throughout Arizona, a physical examination is a prerequisite for attendance; all campers at the Sky-Y and Chauncey Ranch YMCA camps in Prescott, for example, need to have a sports physical at least 2 years before summer camp starts.
While school-sanctioned sports and extracurricular activities require a sports physical, many summer sports leagues do not. For all high school sports, the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) requires a physical examination, but sports and activities during the summer aren’t governed by AIA regulations, scholastic jurisdiction or Arizona school districts.
Depending on your club soccer team, baseball team, flag football association, summer basketball league or summer camp establishment, a physical examination may not be absolutely mandatory. However, that doesn’t mean you should skip the chance to get a physical. Summer sports and summer safety go hand-in-hand. In order to ensure you’re physically ready to handle the challenges ahead, a physical can help in three different ways. A thorough sports physical will:
- Provide a “clean bill of health” for upcoming activities.
- Determine if there are any pre-existing conditions you should be concerned with.
- Help prevent injuries.
For these reasons and many more, you should stop by Urgent Care Extra before your child starts their summer sport.
From Sleeping In to Strenuous Activity: A Recipe for Summer Injuries
Another important point to keep in mind with summer activities is that some children don’t participate in competitive high school athletics. They’re not used to the day-to-day grind of practices, games, intense preparation and other physical stress. For a student-athlete transitioning to a summer sport or camp activity, it’s not a considerable change from their normal routine. But for a student who doesn’t play at least one sport, suddenly jumping into a busy camp itinerary (or other activity) poses a significant challenge.
The statistics don’t lie; every year, nearly 1.5 million youths throughout America experience serious sports-related injuries. That number is big enough, but that doesn’t even include the minor strains, scratches, sprains and wounds that occur at recreational activities, summer camps and similar settings.
Summer sports physicals can help prevent some injuries, even serious ones. Popular summer activities like beach volleyball, flag football, baseball, basketball and more make up a large percentage of the sports that can cause serious injuries.
The transition from lazy summer days to immediate physical activity is not only mentally demanding — it’s also a radical shift from a physical perspective. But a sports physical is your best bet to assure your child remains happy and healthy all through the summer!
Why an Effective Sports Physical is a Two-Way Street
Whenever you schedule a sports physical for summer sports and activities, you obviously want clear-cut answers. The most obvious question to ask yourself is, “Is my child able to handle the rigors of their sport, summer camp or competition?” But remember, the person (or people) administering the sports physical also need concise information as well.
Comprehensive communication is essential for you or your child’s summer sports physical. Any pre-existing condition, regardless of how minor you think it is, should be passed along to the nurse or doctor performing the physical. Asthma, diabetes, past surgeries, old injuries and other information is critical for a proper assessment of you or your child’s physical ability. Past experiences impact present (and future) performance, so make sure you let the examining healthcare professional know about anything and everything – this information will help establish the most accurate assessment during a sports physical.
A sports physical at Urgent Care Extra will investigate any injuries, ailments or disease that could prevent your child from participating in a summer activity, sport or camp.
Summer Sports Physicals in Arizona: Added Peace of Mind in a Tough, Unforgiving Climate
Arizona’s sweltering summers attract sun-seekers all over the county, but the state’s climate – much like other southwestern regions – can be absolutely brutal from May through September. According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, more than 2,000 people every year are treated for heat-related illnesses. A large portion of that number consists of children involved with summer sports and activities.
That’s another reason why a sports physical is so important; many breathing issues and other conditions aggravated by the Arizona climate can be detected beforehand. Most people associate a sports physical with fitness tests for the body’s physical strength (joints, bones, etc.), but they also include respiratory capacity and other important exams.
And as we discussed earlier, anyone who isn’t conditioned to physically demanding sports and competition is more likely to become ill in the harsh Arizona climate.
Urgent Care Extra: Part of Your Summer Sports Playbook
Along with the excitement, slides, spikes, singles, homeruns, rebounds, round-the-base trots, goals, three-hitters, three-pointers, camp activities and cartwheels, a lot can go wrong: strains, sprains, sunburn, tweaks, tender joints, collisions, concussions and more. Urgent Care Extra is not only your #1 source for summer sports physicals, but we’ll also help you get back on track with injury care, preventative advice and counsel, medical tests, regular checkups and much more.
Unlike your athletic trainer, we don’t close up shop at the end of the business day. All Urgent Care Extra walk-in healthcare clinics are open well past normal business hours, providing you and your family the ultimate in flexible, affordable, friendly medical care. Visit one of our Arizona immediate care clinics today! For more information about summer sports physicals, or for any other questions you might have, please call us at (480) 988-9108.