TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Sport practices are starting up again for athletes participating in fall sports. But first, do students have their sport physicals up to date?
“This is an annual requirement by the Kansas State High School Activities Association. It depends when that student may be participating in a sport, but anyone who’s had a physical after May 1st, it’s good for the entire following academic year,” said Dr. Ryan Tomlins, a Sports Medicine Physician at Cotton O’Neil.
According to the Kansas State High School Activities Association, there are 113,000 students statewide in grades 7 through 12 that are eligible to participate in school sports.
“Routinely we would take height and weight. We do take vital signs, so things like elevated blood pressure or hypertension are part of the screening process. We do an eye screen and then we go through a full orthopedic exam. And then we listen to heart and lungs. We are looking at possible skin related issues,” said Dr. Tomlins.
The Kansas State High School Activities Association says, “The primary value of the physical, is in revealing any type of underlying health issues that students, parents, coaches and other school medical personnel need to be aware of.”
With youth sport health accidents happening regularly, doctors recommend scheduling your sports physical as a separate appointment, and taking it seriously; even seeking out a sports medicine doctor.
Dr. Tomlins said sports medicine has a little extra training that may be more normal for an athlete that they may see on the cardiac screens.
“One of the main things is trying to prevent some unnecessary testing that may delay that student athlete’s participation.”
Stormont Vail hosts a mass physical event in May. But for those still in need today, where should students go to get their physical done?
“Our problem here in Topeka is a nationwide problem, that our urgent cares are flooded with these sport physicals. Speaking with our clinics at Cotton O’Neil we saw close to 700 last fall. So we are really trying to off load those. It tends to be maybe a little more expensive for folks,” said Dr. Tomlins.
The Kansas State High School Activities Association says, “Students can go anywhere to have this completed, as long as the exam is signed off by a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner or chiropractor.”