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Should I have my child's health checked if they want to play sports?

Yes, a physical is usually a good idea prior to a child participating in a sport. Many children's sports programs require a sports physical prior to participation. Your primary care doctor will ask several questions and complete a physical exam to assess your child's risk before participating.
Make sure your child undergoes a comprehensive checkup by a pediatrician or other primary care provider as part of a regular annual visit. Be sure to share all of the information you have about your child’s medical history and request a thorough physical exam. This is relatively standard in the United States before children are permitted to play on school teams, but if it’s not required for the physical activity your child wants to play, take your child to the doctor anyway.

Also, learn as much as you can about the medical issues that have affected your immediate and extended family members, specifically focusing on the details of why family members passed away, history of seizures, history of arrhythmias or passing out and the need for pacemakers or defibrillators. And share this information with your child’s doctor. Most children do not need a routine evaluation by a cardiologist prior to participating in sports.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.