Doctors Say Sports Physicals Are Important - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Doctors Say Sports Physicals Are Important

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It may seem like just a another hoop to jump through at the beginning of the school year for students and parents, but doctors say what they're looking for in those exams might be life-threatening illnesses.   

It's the symptoms that might be overlooked throughout the year that can cause major health problems for a student athlete.

"Cardiac conditions, or chronic medical conditions. Asthma that's not controlled, high blood pressure, eating disorders. And, then, looking for previous injuries that haven't been rehabilitated correctly," says Dr. Kassandra Klopp, Sanford Health.

And because student athletes are generally healthy kids, going to the doctor for a physical may be the only exam they get for the year.

"Sometimes that's our one opportunity to see the kid during the year and we make sure no problems have arisen over the year that they haven't told their parents or someone else," says Dr. Klopp.

Because they believe physicals are so important, in 2010, the North Dakota High School Activities Association mandated that student athletes get a sports physical every year, instead of every other.

"We're looking out for the safety of our kids. Undisclosed health problems that a student athlete might get, and with their ever-changing bodies and the change that their bodies go through, there's a lot that can happen in a year," says BHS athletic director Dave Zittleman.

"They are always good. Just to see how your body is functioning before you go and start the season," says football player Aaron Houn.

But if athletes choose not to get a physical, they can be assured they will spend no time at practices or games.

And as always, it's important for athletes to drink plenty of fluids when they're practicing in the warm temps we've been having. Alan, back to you.

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