Are Your Kids Ready for Fall Sports Season?
Local Physician offers Discounted Physicals
New Lenox, IL (July 17, 2013)—Playing on a school or community sports team is a great way for kids to stay in shape and learn teamwork. No matter which sport your son or daughter plays -- whether it's football, soccer, cross country, golf or cheerleading, there's always a risk of getting hurt.
“The casualties of youth sports can range from minor sprained ankles and repetitive strains, to more serious conditions like concussions or exercise-induced asthma,” says Dr. Thomas Lee, family practice physician with Primary Care Professionals in New Lenox. “Some kids may even have serious allergic reactions to bees and other insects found in playing fields.”
To avoid getting hurt or sick on the field, court, and track, kids need to be prepared. That preparation starts with seeing a health care provider for a sport’s physical or pre-participation physical examination(PPE) to make sure their bodies are ready for the season ahead. To make it easy on parents, Dr. Lee will offer discounted sports, school and camp physicals for students age 6 years and older through Sept. 30, 2013. Cost is $45 and includes a physical examination and completion of required forms. Cash, check, or credit/debit card accepted at time of appointment—insurance will not be billed. Immunizations, if required, may be covered by insurance and will be billed separately. Call (815) 300-1450 to schedule an appointment. Evening and weekend hours are available.
Ideally athletes should have the exam done about six to eight weeks before sports season starts. That way, if your physician wants to treat a condition, refer you to a specialist, or do a follow-up exam, there will be enough time before the sport begins to be cleared to play.
What to Expect During a Sports Physical
The sports physical starts with a thorough medical history. Dr. Lee will ask about any history of illness, hospitalizations, or injuries that might prevent your teen from playing, or that might limit the amount of activity the child or teen can handle. The medical history will be followed by a physical exam, in which Dr. Lee will:
- record your height and weight
- take a blood pressure and pulse (heart rate and rhythm) reading
- test vision
- check the heart, lungs, abdomen, ears, nose, and throat
- evaluate posture, joints, strength, and flexibility
Additional testing such as blood tests, X-rays, or electrocardiogram may be ordered during the sports physical.
Although most aspects of the exam will be the same for males and females, if a person has started or already gone through puberty, Dr. Lee may ask girls and guys different questions. For example, if a girl is heavily involved in a lot of active sports, he may ask her about her period and diet to make sure she doesn't have something like female athlete triad, which is disordered eating, amenorrhea and osteoporosis. Dr. Lee may also ask questions about use of drugs, alcohol, or dietary supplements, including steroids or other "performance enhancers" and weight-loss supplements, because these can affect a person's health.
If everything checks out during the physical, Dr. Lee will approve the athlete to play without any restrictions or he might recommend certain modifications, like using special protective equipment, carrying an epinephrine auto injector for severe insect allergies, or using an inhaler for asthma.
“It's unusual for kids to be banned from playing altogether,” said Dr. Lee. “Most health conditions won't prevent kids from participating in sports, but sometimes they'll need treatment such as therapy and a follow-up exam in order to play.”
About Dr. Lee
Thomas Lee, M.D.is board certified in Family Medicine. Heearned his medical degree fromRush Medical College in Chicago. He completed hisresidency at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. Havingpracticed in the south suburbs for 15 years, Dr. Leecares for patients age six and older and is a member of the AmericanAcademy of Family Practice. His office is located at Silver Cross Hospital, Pavilion B, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox.