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Carolina Kids Blog

Posts for tag: Sports Physicals

By Carolina Kids Pediatrics
October 05, 2017
Category: Children's Health

A new report released from the American Academy of Pediatrics this month addresses the topic of preventing the spread of infectious school sports physicaldisease in organized sports. This is a hot topic for pediatricians in Raleigh who do lots of sports physicals, including those of us here at Carolina Kids Pediatrics. 

The highlights of this report: Skin infections spread by direct contact with other athletes account for 10-15% of time lost from sports. At Carolina Kids Pediatrics, we see kids from around Raleigh for sports physicals on a regular basis who have acquired skin infections through direct contact with other athletes or contaminated sports equipment. A general rule we can review during sports physicals is never to share equipment, towels or clothing, and make sure that wrestling mats and protective sports equipment are cleaned regularly – a dilute bleach solution works quite well to kill many bacteria, viruses and fungi which cause skin infection. Some additional advice about common sports-related infections:

  1. Strep and staph (including MRSA): Resistant, aggressive staph infections often cause skin infections and abscesses (which look like hard, red painful lumps) on skin. If a team member is infected, up to 10 to 23% of fellow athletes on football teams and wrestling teams can develop MRSA skin infections. If there is a team outbreak, athletes with eczema or skin scrapes are at higher risk for infection. Having kids take a bath in a tub of water with 1 cup of bleach twice weekly can help decrease the risk of infection, especially during a team outbreak. Infected athletes should not return until they have been treated for at least 24 hours, and sites of infection should be covered during sports.
  2. Tinea (ringworm): Ringworm can appear in the scalp (often causing patches of flaky skin with hair loss), the body (often causing scaly, raised rings), or the feet (athlete’s foot - often causing peeling and redness that most commonly starts between toes. Prevent ringworm of the scalp by avoiding sharing of hats, combs and brushes among athletes, and using an antifungal dandruff shampoo (like Nizoral) once or twice a week. Prevent spreading ringworm on the body by avoiding shared towels and cleaning equipment regularly as described above. Studies have shown that use of foot powder after bathing can decrease risk of athlete’s foot by 75%.  Ringworm on the body or athlete’s foot can be treated with over the counter creams and sprays, including terbinafine (Lamisil) and clotrimazole (Lotrimin) twice daily for 3-4 weeks – but ringworm on the scalp requires oral prescription medications.
  3. Herpes: This refers not just to genital herpes, but also to the herpes virus which causes fever blisters. This can cause painful, blistering skin infections (called herpes gladiatorum), sometimes with fevers, in contact sports. Up to 34% of wrestling team contacts can be infected during a team outbreak. Athletes with active skin blisters should be excluded from contact sports for about a week, and the blisters should be covered until healed. Herpes skin infections are treatable with acyclovir and other prescription medications – and earlier treatment, within a day or two of symptom onset, works better. Athletes with frequent outbreaks can be treated with preventative medication during the sports season.
  4. Molluscum & warts: Kids who come in for a sports physical often have these. Both are viral skin infections, which cause single or clustered skin bumps. Bumps from molluscum are usually smooth with a dot in the middle, while warts are usually rougher and scalier. Both molluscum and warts can be spread by direct contact in sports, and covering them is the best way to prevent spread. Plantar warts (warts on the bottom of the feet) are easily spread in communal showers – in fact up to 25% of athletes who use communal showers are affected, so it might be worth coming in to treat plantar warts if your athlete uses a communal shower in sports (or wear pool shoes in the shower if they don’t want to treat their warts). We can treat both molluscum and warts in the office with treatments such as liquid nitrogen and cantharidin extract, but treatment is not always necessary for bumps which can be easily covered in sports.

Every organized sports team, whether school-based or not, requires that children be cleared by their Raleigh pediatrician through a sports physical. When your child gets their sports physical at Carolina Kids Pediatrics, please talk to us not only about injury and concussion prevention, but also the prevention of infectious disease from sports participation.
For more information on these guidelines on preventing infections in sports, check out this article before you come in for this year’s sports physical:

Christian Nechyba, MD
Carolina Kids Pediatrics
Your Pediatrician in Raleigh, North Carolina

By Carolina Kids Pediatrics
May 18, 2015
Category: Children's Health
Tags: Sports Physicals  

It's spring, and for many families, that means gearing up for the busy sports seasons ahead. Before lacing up the cleats or trying on a jersey, scheduling a school or sports physical at Carolina Kids, your Raleigh pediatric office, is the best way to ensure a successful athletic season for your child.Kids Sports and Scheduling a Sports Physical

What are school and sports physicals?

All students that will be participating in school-sponsored sports need a physical examination before participating. These exams evaluate a student athlete's current health and fitness level, as well as their risk of potential injury or concussion. Other organizations, such as camps or recreational sports leagues, may also require physicals before participation.

At Carolina Kids Pediatrics in Raleigh, NC, these physical exams typically happen long enough before the beginning of the sports season to provide enough time to address any potential issues before beginning a sport. They involve taking a thorough medical history, which includes current and past illnesses or injuries, hospitalizations, and any health problems within the immediate family. 

Why does my child need a physical?

School and sports physicals are a great opportunity for the health professionals at Carolina Kids Pediatrics to update records and go over important health and safety issues with both children and their parents. School and sports physicals in Raleigh assess whether the student is healthy and physically able to take on the activity.

What happens if they don't pass the physical?

Being disqualified is highly unlikely - it's estimated that less than 1% of students have conditions that keep them out of activities, and most of the time, those conditions have already been diagnosed. Your Raleigh pediatrician may refer your child for further testing or to a specialist to figure out how to rectify any potential issues that might happen on the field or court.

Make sure you bring along any required forms to be filled out and signed. The whole pediatric staff at Carolina Kids Pediatrics in Raleigh, NC looks forward to helping your child start their journey to physical fitness and fun!