As the rate of COVID-19 infections decreases and school and recreational sports restart here in Illinois, a thorough physical examination is more important that ever before your child begins practice and competition. Here, Dr. Alzein explains why.
Why is a physical important?
A sports physical ensures that your child is healthy enough to participate in their selected activities, with no physical or developmental challenges that could worsen with exertion. We may prescribe medications or therapies that can manage the challenge to allow your child to play as they’d like.
What happens at a physical?
A good sports physical will encompass much of what we’ll look at in an annual exam, but often goes further. We will:
- Measure your child’s weight and height
- Measure blood pressure, pulse and listen to your child’s heart
- Test vision and examine eyes
- Listen to and check lungs
- Examine ears, nose and throat
- Examine to and check the abdomen
- Check joints and posture
- Measure strength and flexibility
We’ll also talk about nutrition and supplements and any puberty or developmental issues.
We’ll review your child’s and your family’s health history, any medications and any injuries or unusual symptoms.
Every child should have an ImPACT testing before participation, to help assess your child’s recovery before returning to play after a concussion.
Why is this more important this year?
COVID-19 has been shown to damage heart muscle, even in young and very healthy children, with no pre-existing conditions. COVID-19 has caused enlarged heart, irregular rhythms and atrial fibrillation, ischemia (poor blood flow) which weakens the heart and more. These conditions, when undetected and untreated, can cause SCD or sudden cardiac death.
Even if your child did not show symptoms of ever having a COVID-19 infection, they could have been infected and sustained damage.
Alzein Pediatrics is now offering COVID-19 antibody testing. This test will determine if your child has had asymptomatic COVID-19. Now more than ever, it’s vital to get a full cardiovascular exam, including an EKG to look for abnormal heart rhythms.
78% of people who have recovered from COVID-19 have heart abnormalities, even when they had mild COVID-19 symptoms or no symptoms at all.
It’s time to make that appointment for a sports physical to ensure your child can play safely! Please call us at 708-424-7600 or log into your patient portal to schedule now.