Health Check August 12, 2015

LET'S GET PHYSICAL

Can you hear it? That faint sound of applause off in the distance? It's getting louder! It's the sound of parents everywhere cheering in anticipation of the first day of school!

In all seriousness, if you're not already getting your back-to-school list together, it's time. And we have a few things that probably won't be on the teacher's classroom list.

This August, 12 Sports' Bruce Cooper is tackling back-to-school health tips and sports-safety tricks with some help from the experts.

MORE THAN A P.E.

Physicals seem to somehow fall to the bottom of the 'to-do' list. They can take a while and sometimes seem mundane, but according to Dr. Charles Peterson of the Arizona Sports Medicine Center, the main reason for physicals "are to make sure the kids are safe," and to be sure they don't have already have unseen injuries that could potentially become worse.

Here's a step-by-step guide from HonorHealth Medical Group of exactly what to expect during your next trip to the doctor and why each part of this yearly exam is oh-so important:

  • History: A historical background and update of the child and family medical history will be noted. This is your chance to mention any concerns you may have regarding your child's health.
  • Vital signs: Blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate and temperature.
  • Heart exam: With a stethoscope, the doctor can detect an irregular heartbeat, a heart murmur or other clues to heart disease.
  • Lung exam: Using a stethoscope, a doctor listens for crackles, wheezes or decreased breath sounds for signs of asthma or other complications.
  • Head and neck exam: The doctor will check the ears, nose, sinuses and lymph nodes for any abnormalities.
  • Abdominal exam: The doctor will listen for bowel sounds with a stethoscope, and press on the abdomen for tenderness.
  • Neurological exam: Nerves, muscle strength, reflexes, balance and mental state are assessed.
  • Range of motion: The doctor examines for abnormalities or injuries that may limit participation in physical activities.

Yes, and all those cheers from parents will soon give way to sounds of homework discussions at the dinner table. Remember 12 News and our Health Check 12 partners to help keep your immune system strong all year long.