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Beyond the Game: The Crucial Role of Safety and Medical Clearance in School Sports

Beyond the Game: The Crucial Role of Safety and Medical Clearance in School Sports

If there is one aspect that many students look forward to when the session for a new school year starts, it is enrolling in their favorite sports back again. However, while playing their favorite sport is excellent, as a parent, you should consider both the safety of the sport and the medical clearance aspect involved beyond the game.

If you are a parent whose kid plans on enrolling in a sport this year, then we are sure you might want to look into a few safety tips and learn about medical clearance, right? Well, if that is the case, then you have landed on the right page. 

Safety Tips for School Sports

There is no denying that school sports are a way to not only have fun and garner some good competition but also make memories that will last a lifetime. However, in between making memories, it is essential that one still remembers to follow a few safety tips to ensure that they go through the sports season well, healthy, and in full spirit:

Get Plenty of Rest

There can be times when the excitement of the game may take away your child's sleep the night before. However, ensure that you send them off to bed at the right time and that they get enough sleep to have their head entirely in the game.

Never Forget to Warm Up

Warming up is the core safety tip for any game season. We repeat: Never step onto a field without warming up. Ensure that you warm up before games and practices and also stretch properly once you are done playing. This will help you release muscle tension and prevent sports injuries.

Stay Well Hydrated

During the sports season, and especially on the game days, one needs to keep themselves well hydrated. Drinking plenty of water before, during, and after one is done playing would keep them healthy.

Eat a Healthy Diet

While eating a healthy diet is important for everyone, it is even more essential for children who are enrolled in strenuous exercises or sports that require a lot of practice. This is because, apart from their regular school work and playtime, these children invest their energy in their sports practices, too. 

Therefore, parents need to keep their diet high in lean meats, leafy greens, fruits, and whole grains so that they don't feel sluggish and play well.

Wear Properly Fitted Safety Gears

Another important aspect that parents and children should ensure before starting the game season is that the costumes and gear they have are perfectly their size and fit them properly. Loose helmets, unpadded shins, and broken gloves can all increase the severity of the injuries that you may encounter. So, it's better that you avoid them altogether.

Keep your Equipment Clean

The last essential safety tip we'd like to give is to ensure that the equipment and gear your child plays with are clean and sanitized. This includes all their sports gear, clothing, locker room essentials, etc. Ensuring this aspect would help reduce the risks of any contagious skin conditions like athlete's foot or ringworm, which is quite common among those who play on the field.

When and Why Do Kids Need Medical Clearance?

Apart from considering all the safety precautions, another essential aspect that parents should consider before their kids hit off the game season is their medical clearance. Many parents would have to schedule the clearance with the school if their children want to play in school sports or some league outside. 

The clearance exam is basically a way for the physical therapist to assess the young athlete's physical readiness to safely play the game and to assess any risk factors or conditions that might need further evaluation before they are cleared to play a game.

What Physicians Look For in Medical Clearance Assessment?

The medical clearance exam is not extremely serious, and the first and most crucial aspect that the physician might look into is whether your kid wears glasses and teaches them how to wear them during the sports they will play. However, apart from this, routine screening of the following aspects might also be required:

Doctors also screen for the risks of sudden cardiac arrests, genetic heart conditions, or inherited diseases related to the major blood vessels. Stress tests are also conducted based on the severity and strenuous levels of the sports the kid is indulging in.

Do These Medical Clearance or Sports Physicals Have a Validity?

If your child is enrolling in a sports team or league for the first time, it doesn't mean that they would only require a medical clearance once, which would work for all the remaining school years. In fact, new sports physicals are required every year before the session starts.

However, it might also differ from school to school and league to league, and some states require students to submit their sports physicals before each sports season. So, even if the sports season falls in the same school year, one is required to submit a new medical clearance to be a part of the team.

Wrapping Up!

If you are a parent whose child is starting off the game season this year, then we are sure that as much as you are excited for them, you may also be concerned. Well, your concerns are valid, and hence, to put you at ease, we have concluded a guide that can walk you through all the safety tips you should consider for your child and also provide you with a brief insight into medical clearance or sports physicals, which will you will be required to submit. We hope this article was sufficient enough to add to your knowledge. Our staff at Healthy Kids Care at Sunrise are here to answer any questions or concerns.

In Health,

Dr. Atousa   



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