AUSTIN (KXAN) — Every year, local physicians see thousands of student-athletes in need of a sports physical before the start of the school year. The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates 60-70% of students participate in organized sports across the country. This school year, The Biden administration wants doctors to incorporate COVID-19 vaccination status into sports physicals.
“It’s very important to come in this year and be evaluated,” said Kristopher Richardson, a physician assistant with FastMed. “COVID infections can cause issues with pediatric patients and their participation in sports can be compromised, they can have more serious illnesses.”
The AAP, along with 11 sports and medical organizations, have joined together to urge all medical providers to ask about COVID-19 vaccine status during sports physicals. Richardson says COVID-19 testing is usually not part of a routine physical but stresses the importance of getting an “all-clear” to participate in extracurricular activities especially with COVID-19 cases rising among school-aged children.
“Just like a heart issue or a concussion or head injury, Richardson said, “we really have to check those patients thoroughly before they return to sports.”