Many parents wonder when their child’s sports physical expires. The answer may surprise you.
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A sports physical is also called a preparticipation physical examination (PPE). All 50 states have laws that require young athletes to have a sports physical before they can compete in middle school or high school.
Most states require that the sports physical be less than six months old. Some states allow the physical to be up to one year old if it is dated on or after the athlete’s last birthday. Be sure to check with your state’s athletic association for specific requirements.
The sports physical is an opportunity for the healthcare provider to look for any medical condition that might put the athlete at risk for injury or illness during sport activities. It is also an opportunity for the athlete and parent/guardian to ask questions about participation in sports.
What is a sports physical?
A sports physical is a medical exam that helps determine if it’s safe for a child or teenager to participate in a sport. The exam may also be called a preparticipation physical examination (PPE).
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children and teens have a sports physical every year. This is especially important if your child is starting a new sport or taking on a more strenuous role in a sport they already participate in.
A sports physical usually consists of:
-A medical history questionnaire that asks about your child’s health, family health history, and any medications they take
-Height, weight, and blood pressure measurements
-Vision and hearing tests
-Heart and lung exams
-Musculoskeletal exam, which assesses the strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the joints and muscles
When does a sports physical expire?
A sports physical, also known as a pre-participation physical examination (PPE), is an evaluation performed by a medical professional that is designed to determine if it is safe for a person to participate in a sport.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Medical Association (AMA) recommend that all young athletes have a sports physical before participating in any type of organized sport.
Most states have laws that require young athletes to have a sports physical before they are allowed to participate in any type of organized sport.
A sports physical generally expires after one year.
What if my child’s sports physical expires during the season?
If your child’s sports physical expires during the season, you have a few options. You can either have your child take another physical or you can fill out a Recertification Form. The Recertification Form is only to be used if your child has had a physical within the last 12 months and if there are no changes in your child’s health since the last physical.
How often should my child have a sports physical?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on several factors, such as your child’s age, health, and activity level. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children have a sports physical at least every year.
If your child is participating in a high-risk sport, such as football or hockey, the AAP recommends that they have a sports physical every six months. For other sports, such as baseball or track, a sports physical every year should suffice.
It is important to note that a regular physical exam with your child’s pediatrician does not replace the need for a separate sports physical. A regular physical exam is focused on overall health and wellness, while a sports physical is focused specifically on assessing whether or not your child is physically fit to participate in their chosen sport.
Assuming that your physical was completed within the last 12 months, it will expire one year from the date of completion. For example, if your physical was completed on October 15th, 2018, it will expire on October 15th, 2019. If your physical expires during the season, you will need to get a new one before you can participate in practices or games.