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Time for Back-to-School Exams

Not the Kind You Study for — Student Athletes Need Their Sports Physical Exams

As stores switch their seasonal displays from summer fun to back-to-school supplies, many of us are left wondering in a haze of confusion what going back to school will actually be for students, especially athletes, this fall.

Whether kids’ schooling takes place in a classroom setting or a virtual one, it’s important not to overlook their health. And yes, while COVID-19 is top of mind for all of us, we also need to stay on top of preventative health.

In short: sports physical exams are more important than ever.

Checkups are an important part of student athletes’ well-being, and regardless of where they’re learning and training come September — school or home — that care should include a sports physical exam. They’re critical in helping to identify pre-existing conditions, manage old injuries, and prevent new ones. Furthermore, they provide opportunities to track developmental progress, establish baselines of health, ensure immunizations are up-to-date, and document milestones.

Why Beacon for Sports Physicals?

In this time of COVID-19, the idea of exposing healthy kids to a doctor’s office is nerve-racking. That’s where Beacon comes in. While we do operate in medical settings, we don’t see sick patients, which means our patients have a lower exposure risk to illnesses like coronavirus. We’re also maintaining strict COVID-19 safety protocols to help keep our patients and staff as safe as possible.

Even though we aren’t doing large group physicals like in past years because of social distancing restrictions, student athletes can get an individual exam from one of our primary care sports medicine doctors. Beacon physicians are board-certified and fellowship-trained in their specialties. They’re also medical directors for the Cincinnati Reds and their minor league affiliates, Xavier University, and more than 30 high school, club and college teams.

What to Expect

We treat every athlete with the same attentiveness and care. Last year that included more than 1,500 high school athletes throughout the Tri-State region, which means 1,500 kids were examined to ensure they were healthy enough to play sports. Exams look at potential underlying risk factors that could create issues. Our focus is to keep them as healthy as possible and to prevent tragedies like Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) where, as the name implies, the heart stops beating suddenly and unexpectedly. For young athletes, SCA is a leading cause of death — accounting for 75% of all athlete-related deaths.

Of course, SCA is at the extreme end of the spectrum. Our goal is to look for any health concerns that could interfere with student athletes’ participation in a sport — from vision to heart rate and everything in between. While exams may vary based on age, gender and known conditions, physical exams generally include:

  • Recording height and weight
  • Taking blood pressure and heart rate/rhythm
  • Testing vision
  • Checking lungs, abdomen, ears, nose and throat
  • Evaluating posture, joints, strength and flexibility

Our physicians are here to keep your student athletes healthy and active. That includes sensitivity to the financial strain many of us our under because of COVID-19’s impact on the economy, which is why our sports physicals are now just $20. To schedule an appointment, simply call 513-577-5014 or email [email protected].