The sports physical is a rite of passage for any child or teen looking to participate in school-based athletics. Over the years, however, this essential — also referred to as the preparticipation physical evaluation — has evolved.
Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics and several other authorities have updated sports physical recommendations to reflect growing concerns regarding transgender athletes, bullying in athletics, and other issues largely overlooked in the past. A few takeaways from these updates are outlined below:
The Role of Mental Health
The updated sports physical guidelines acknowledge the prominent role that mental health concerns play in the lives of many student athletes. Physicians are encouraged to discuss sensitive and important topics such as depression, bullying, and substance abuse.
Female Athlete Triad
The updated guide highlights a concept known as the female athlete triad, which involves menstrual health, energy availability, and bone mineral density. Energy availability is also of concern for some male athletes, who may suffer similar energy deficits as their female counterparts.
A new chapter included in the updated guidelines addresses concerns regarding transgender athletes in detail. A revised history form includes separate areas in which athletes can indicate both their sex at birth and their gender. Ultimately, however, their eligibility to participate in athletics will be determined by state school associations.
The revised guidelines acknowledge that athletics can prove valuable for the physical and mental health of children with special needs. Pediatricians can use this resource to locate physical forms and documents for Special Olympics participants.
If negligence in athletics or coaching has caused your child to suffer, you deserve justice. Contact Regan Zambri Long PLLC today to learn more how you can benefit from working with one of our personal injury attorneys.