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Children of all ages benefit from moderate-intensity activity. This can include endurance and cardio to strengthen the heart and lungs, flexibility found through bending, reaching and stretching and strength to build strong muscles and bones. Learning and regularly practicing these basic skills and movements prepares the body for growth and the development of critical agility, balance and coordination skills. Depending on the age of the child, this might come in the form of regular trips to play at the playground or enrollment in organized physical activities and sports, each providing critical steps in a child’s development.

As parents, most of us expect to see natural progressions from crawling to walking and climbing in our child’s life. Sometimes though, in the midst of this near-constant state of growth and movement, there is also the potential for a growth spurt that uncovers a child has flat feet, pigeon toes, limping, bow legs, knock knees or the tendency to walk on their toes. These could be a result of the body’s response to injury, infection or simple genetics.

The Benefits of Prevention

When you hear the word orthopaedics, things like adult knee and joint replacements often come to mind. While this is accurate, orthopaedic doctors serve a variety of different ages, including a much younger audience of children. Orthopaedic doctors specialize on the diseases and injuries of the body’s musculoskeletal system, including how the bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and muscles work.

Importance of Regular Checkups

The ability to treat musculoskeletal discoveries earlier, rather than later, can be an important way to ensure a child receives the foundation necessary to create a stronger, healthier body that’s ready to support it in anychosen activity. This desire for early discovery and prevention is also the reason why regular physicals are required by most schools. These physicals are particularly important for students preparing to participate in a variety of sports and activities. An assessment typically considers if a student has any potential medical or structural liabilities and if they can safely compete and train in a desired sport.

Goals of a Sports Evaluation

  1. Determine if athlete is in good health
  2. Assess the student’s current level of fitness
  3. Check to see if student is predisposed to new injuries
  4. Evaluate current/existing injuries
  5. Assess the development and size of the student
  6. Look for any congenital anomalies that could increase the risk of injury
  7. Consider if poor pre-participation condition could put athlete at risk

Back-to-School Checklist

This year, as you’re stocking up on pencils, papers and pens, don’t forget to schedule an appointment for your child’s most important asset, their body. A pre-school physical can be a great way to ensure your child is in the best condition possible to start the new school year with a clean slate of health. Contact Summit Medical Center 307.232.6600 to learn more about our physicians and our services.

Remember, you always have a choice in your healthcare. Summit Medical Center offers orthopaedics; ear, nose and throat; pediatrics, gastrointestinal; primary care; general surgery, pulmonary; and plastic surgery to the Casper, Wyoming, area. With cost-competitive, high-quality medical care and superior patient service, Summit Medical Center is changing the delivery of healthcare in Casper and beyond.

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