Are you aiming your child to play sports this course?  You should pass a sports medical check-up first

Are you aiming your child to play sports this course? You should pass a sports medical check-up first

Pediatricians advise that children who play sports go through a sports medical check-up beforehand.

The World Health Organization recommends that children do an hour of physical exercise diary. Obesity is also a serious problem in childhood and exercise is the main pillar to combat it. The offer of sports extracurricular activities It is very broad but according to doctors, all children who play sports should first go through a medical examination to rule out health problems that limit the practice of exercise.

In fact, scientific associations such as the Spanish Association of Pediatrics or the Spanish Society of Pediatric Cardiology recommend that children between 6 and 18 years who are going to carry out any type of regular sporting activity at any level undergo a specific medical examination every two years.

These types of medical exams are very common in children who compete at a higher level, but they are not as widespread in other areas. “Just as the sports federations have very internalized carrying out physical examinations of minors when they go to compete, in schools it is an almost non-existent practice. Medical examinations are carried out, but if the child has to do some extracurricular sports activity, they are not enough, because they do not include an electrocardiogram and we have to think that many of these children who play soccer, basketball, handball or volleyball and also compete in demanding school leagues, therefore risk is always presentensures the Dr. Jose Manuel Siuranahead of the Cardiology and Sports Medicine Unit of the HM Nens Hospital in Barcelona.

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What can a sports medical review detect?

Sports medical examinations seek in the first place to rule out heart diseases (congenital heart disease, arrhythmias, myocarditis, valve disease). However, as Dr. Siurana points out in a hospital statement, “This should not be an impediment for minors to do sports regularly if they are detected in time, since once diagnosed, the most appropriate level of activity is verified, a specific plan is designed and the changes that may occur are monitored. in the heart”.

In addition to assessing heart health, the respiratory system and the musculoskeletal system to detect if there are bone, muscle or ligament problems that are different in children when they are in the growth phase and may contraindicate sports activity.

These tests also serve to assess the general state of health and advise on the best way to carry out sports practice.

What is a sports medical check-up like?

The sports medical examination that is carried out on children consists of two parts: an interview and a physical examination.

The interview Its objective is to know the eating habits of the child, if he suffers from any disease, if he has previously played sports and his family history.

The physical exploration It is used to rule out diseases that interfere with sports practice. The following tests are performed:

  • Anthropometric study (weight, height, BMI).
  • Cardiac auscultation.
  • Blood pressure measurement.
  • Electrocardiogram.
  • Respiratory auscultation.
  • Exploration of the musculoskeletal system, especially the osteoarticular and muscular system, flexibility, gait disorders, back contour and range of motion.
  • Exploration of the abdomen.
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The review can be completed with a ergometry (stress test) in federated athletes over 14 years of age, who do more than 7 hours a week or who participate in international competitions. Complementary tests can also be carried out such as blood tests or echocardiograms if the doctor considers it necessary.

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