Orange County Student Athletes Must Complete A PPE

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Before you know it, it will be time to spend your Friday nights under stadium lights as high school football season kicks off. In the coming school year, student-athletes will also be participating in cross-country, volleyball, swimming, cheerleading, tennis and a wide variety of other great activities. Mark your calendar now to complete the one important requirement that must be fulfilled prior to participation in any of these sports: a routine school and sports physical to evaluate your child’s ability to safely take the field. All student-athletes must complete a PPE.

Why schedule a sports physical?
A sports physical is often required before try-outs begin. Orange County Public Schools student-athletes must complete a pre-participation physical exam (PPE) that is performed by a licensed physician, licensed osteopathic physician, licensed chiropractic physician, licensed physician assistant or certified advanced registered nurse practitioner.

Goals of the PPE include screening for potentially life-threatening illnesses, screening for conditions that predispose injury, determining overall general health and providing some access to health care. It is generally meant as a precaution to ensure that student-athletes will not encounter any medical issues out on the field.

What to expect from a PPE
PPEs call for obtaining a complete medical history to document any past injuries or illnesses, current medications or health symptoms that could affect a student athlete’s physical status. The medical history can also identify any diseases that may run in the student athlete’s family to proactively monitor and treat him or her when necessary.

In addition to checking your child’s heart, lungs, abdomen, nose, throat and ears for abnormalities during the physical exam portion of the PPE, your healthcare provider will review the following vital stats:

  • Height, weight and body mass index
  • Vision
  • Blood pressure
  • Posture
  • Balance
  • Flexibility
  • Strength

If your physician determines there are no abnormalities, your child will be cleared for play without limitation. When something is noted that could affect the health of a student-athlete when they’re on the court or the field, a physician will require further evaluations or rehabilitation before the student can be cleared to play school sports.

It is important to note that a PPE is not meant to replace regular exams or health maintenance for a student-athlete. While some students may be sidelined by the results of their PPE, the purpose is to encourage safe participation in team sports, not to exclude student-athletes from participating with their peers.

How to schedule your child’s sports physical
With the end of summer in sight, schedule your student athlete’s PPE with one of Florida Hospital Medical Group’s board-certified family doctors or pediatricians. The exam is covered by most major insurance plans and includes the physical, vaccinations and the physical-exam form that schools and sports organizations require.

To find the perfect primary care physician or pediatrician for your family, call (407) 490-4985 or visit for a customized search by zip code. All of our physicians are part of the Florida Hospital Care Network.

• Compassionate care for all ages
• Extended office hours
• Online scheduling
• Same-day Appointments
• Spanish-speaking

About Florida Hospital Medical Group
Florida Hospital Medical Group (FHMG) is Central Florida’s most comprehensive multi-specialty medical group practice with physician offices conveniently located across the region and doctors representing more than 40 medical specialties. As a member of Adventist Health System, FHMG has a mission to Extend the Healing Ministry of Christ, with a commitment to healing the body, mind and spirit. FHMG practices provide patients with seamless access to the Florida Hospital Care Network including online scheduling and medical records access, as well as world-class hospitals and numerous urgent care, physical rehabilitation and medical imaging facilities.


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Written by Lyndsay Fogarty

Lyndsay Fogarty has had many roles at Central Florida Lifestyle, working her way from intern to contributing writer to managing editor. She is a graduate of the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication where she earned her degree in journalism. Along the way, she has learned that teamwork and dedication to your craft will get you far, and a positive outlook on the present will get you even farther.

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