School sports physicals can help reveal problems for your child - WDRB 41 Louisville News

School sports physicals can help reveal problems for your child

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In this School Smarts report, WDRB's Sterling Riggs reveals what parents need to look for and the questions to ask your doctor before students hit the playing field.

Fifteen-year old Marissa Scott is a two sport athlete and loves to toss the softball around. Just watching her on the field, it's hard to recognize that she's at risk for injury. Scott deals with asthma just like hundreds of other kids and must use an inhaler before she competes.

U of L Doctor Eric Labar says Scott is a perfect example of why student athletes are required to receive a physical before hitting the field.

"Athletes with asthma not only need a regular sports physical but they may need their lung function checked. That's what we did with Marissa with pulmonary function testing to ensure her lungs are healthy enough to play."

Sports physicals are mandatory in both Kentucky and Indiana. But what are doctors looking for?

1. Examining athletes muscular system

2. Examining athletes nervous system

3. Examining athletes cardiovascular system

Doctor Labar says a routine physical does not protect student athletes from every injury, but it does reveal trouble areas if more in-depth testing is needed.

"We had one child that before they filled out the history form on the sports physical, the parents had no idea that they were getting dizzy with exercise or that they had their heart flutter or any chest pain and that child ended up having asthma. Without that sport physical we may not have picked that up" says Labar.

She says three simple things should help reveal any trouble areas.

1. Thoroughly fill out medical history form

2. Be honest with physician about physical condition

3. Establish a long term relationship with physician

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