Is Your Child Ready for Sports?

Back-to-school time often means shopping trips for school clothes, spiral-bound notebooks and backpacks. If your children participate in sports, this is also the time to make sure they’re healthy to play - and stay safe all season long. Here are three things you can do.

1. Schedule a sports physical. "Sports physicals are very important, and they are mandatory for athletic participation," says Sarang Desai, D.O., an orthopaedic surgeon on the medical staff at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano.

A physical, he explains, helps identify if a child has health risks. During a physical, a doctor will ask about the child’s medical history and conduct a physical exam.

"Doctors can also give tips on how to manage health issues like asthma, and can give training tips to help prevent re-aggravation of previous sports-related injuries," he says.

2. Know the risks. "Each sport carries a risk of injury," Dr. Desai says. "Generally, contact sports such as football, hockey and basketball have the highest incidences of injuries. But athletes participating in non-contact sports can also sustain serious injuries. For example, in gymnastics or cheerleading, a fall from a great height can pose a health risk."
By understanding the risks, you and your child can take precautions to prevent injury, such as smart training or wearing the appropriate gear.

3. Recognize what pain means. "It is imperative the athlete listen to his or her body," Dr. Desai says. "Pain is the body’s way of telling you to slow down because something may be wrong."

Call your doctor, he says, if the pain continues after rest, ice, heat and other home therapies.

"Continuing to play in pain can lead to worsening of an injury," he notes, "and the possibility of a longer recovery."

Want to learn more about preventing and treating sports injuries? Attend a free sports injury seminar presented by Dr. Desai on Thursday, Sept. 23 from noon to 1 p.m. in Education Center 1 on the Garden Level. To register, click here.

Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano is a 112-bed acute care hospital committed to serving North Texas residents with personalized care and advanced technology on a beautiful campus with hotel-like amenities and all private rooms. Services at the not-for-profit, fully-accredited facility include treatment for advanced spine deformities at the Baylor Scoliosis Center, neurosciences, orthopaedics, medical and radiation oncology, surgical weight loss, women’s services, gynecology, urology, gastroenterology, pulmonary medicine, sleep disorders, pain management, diabetes management and more. Patients have access to digital imaging onsite at Baylor Plano and at the Baylor Diagnostic Imaging Center at Craig Ranch, an outpatient department of Baylor Plano. The hospital is the first in North Dallas and Collin County to offer minimally invasive robotic surgery for gynecology and prostate procedures through the FDA-approved da Vinci® S Surgical System. The hospital has won several quality awards including the Texas Health Care Quality Improvement Award of Excellence and is designated a Pathway to Excellence™ hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Jerri Garison is president of Baylor Plano. For fiscal year 2009, Baylor recorded $3.9 billion in total assets and $452.4 million community benefit.For more information, visit

For a physician referral, call toll free 1-800-4-BAYLOR or log onto

*Represents preliminary information that will be reported to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Health Care System's subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano or Baylor Health Care System.

CONTACT: Susan Hall

Janeen Browning

About Baylor Scott & White Health
As the largest not-for-profit health system in the state of Texas, Baylor Scott & White promotes the health and well-being of every individual, family and community it serves. It is committed to making quality care more accessible, convenient and affordable through its integrated delivery network, which includes the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan, Baylor Scott & White Research Institute, the Baylor Scott & White Quality Alliance and its leading digital health platform – MyBSWHealth. Through 51 hospitals and more than 1,200 access points, including flagship academic medical centers in Dallas, Fort Worth and Temple, the system offers the full continuum of care, from primary to award-winning specialty care. Founded as a Christian ministry of healing more than a century ago, Baylor Scott & White today serves more than three million Texans. For more information, visit: