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Does Your Child Need a Sports Physical (PPE) for School?

Does Your Child Need a Sports Physical (PPE) for School?

With school getting ready to start back up for the year, your child may need a sports physical for high school or college. Make sure you meet the school’s deadline so your child can meet the requirements for their favorite team sport.

What is a PPE?

In the sports medicine field, there is a preparticipation physical examination (PPE), which is another term for a sports physical exam or athletic physical. This examination determines whether it is safe or in good enough health to participate, practice, and compete in a particular sport. Most states in the United States require an annual physical to play sports. Doctors recommend getting an exam each year even if your team or school don’t require a sports physical.

Reasons Why

The primary purpose of a high school pre-participation exam is to rule out the risk of severe injury or harm that might have been avoided through careful screening.

Sports physicals are yearly because schools and coaches need to know, on an ongoing basis, that athletes are healthy and fit to participate safely.

A sports exam performed before the start of school and your sports season can rule out injury or underlying health conditions that may have developed since your last annual exam.


What a physician will look for in a PPE:

· Are you in good health?

· How are your existing injuries healing?

· Will you be able to play when the season begins?

· Are you ready to compete right now, or is additional preparation and training advised?

· Are your growth and size appropriate for your age?

· If you have a known health condition or disorder, will you be able to safely participate (possibly with activity modifications)?

· Do you have any previously undetected conditions or congenital anomalies that may put you at risk for injury (for example, a heart condition or a musculoskeletal abnormality)?

Good heart health is a particular focus of sports physicals, especially among young males. Although sudden death from a cardiac event is rare, male athletes are in a much higher risk category than females and should be carefully screened.

Doctors will also give special attention to conditions like asthma, seizure disorders like epilepsy, sickle cell anemia, and post-concussive syndromes. (If you have had a concussion in the past, be sure to mention this to your doctor at your exam.)

Medical Clearance

If you pass your exam, you’ll be given medical clearance to participate. Getting cleared means that you can safely train and compete.

Coaches rely on the results of these medical clearance exams to help them plan their rosters and find substitutes. Injured athletes may require rehabilitation before they can be cleared.

A doctor can create a rehab plan so you can make a safe return to your sport. Your doctor can also prescribe you exercises or sports medicine programs that will help rebuild your strength and improve your performance.


Find out the deadline for exam results and then schedule your Sports Exam with a local doctor or primary care office. At Hillandale Primary Care, we can schedule and perform your PPE. Give us a call at 770.322.9660 to set up your appointment in time for your favorite school team sport!

Hillandale Primary Care & Laser Center is owned and operated by Dr. Saira Tariq Niaz, who is a board-certified family physician with offices in Lithonia and Lawrenceville Georgia. Hillandale Primary Care provides patient-focused, compassionate healthcare of the highest quality to each patient and delivers acute and chronic healthcare to patients of all ages. We are passionate about preventive medicine and encourage each of our patients to take an active role in maintaining overall health and wellbeing. Call today at 770.322-9660 or request an appointment.