Every year, the OSAA requires kids wanting to play school sports get a physical before the season begins.
As in past years, the Center Foundation in Bend, along with area doctors, are providing that service for free.
"It's just a good chance for these kids to make sure they're safe before they play. Our mission is we want to keep these kids safe. We want to keep them educated," Claire Irvine, La Pine High's athletic trainer, said Wednesday.
Starting this Thursday, boys from grades 6-12 have the opportunity to get a free sports physical if they plan on playing school sports this coming year.
"A lot of these kids probably don't have access to doctors as much as they should and many of them haven't seen a doctor since the last time they had a pre-participation physical," said Dr. Scott Jacobson, an orthopedic surgeon.
Students get to see two doctors: a general physician, who will check vital signs and basic health issues, as well as orthopedic doctors who will check sport-specific areas, such as joint flexibility and pre-existing injuries.
"Every year, we catch things that are important. It doesn't happen very often, but if it happens once or twice out of a few hundred kids, it's worth it," Jacobson said.
Finding possible warning signs in students' health early is crucial to preventing bigger problems down the road.
"Sudden death in athletics is real and it happens, and pre-screenings is really important to catch and prevent those, so if we can catch those things here, then we're not putting them on the playing field and risking their lives," Irvine said.
The center expects about 250 boys to show up on Thursday night.
Kids wanting to participate need to have a parental consent form signed on arrival.
Registration starts at 5, with the physicals beginning at 6:30.
The girls' physicals will be held on August 13th.
While you're there, you can also sign up for concussion baseline testing.
Here's the full news release from The Center Foundation:
The Center Foundation (TCF), in partnership with The Center, Therapeutic Associates, Inc., Horizon Broadcasting, and local physicians is once again providing no-cost pre-participation sports physicals to 6th through 12th grade students planning to play school sports or intramurals during the 2012-13 school year. The boys physicals are August 8th and girls are August 13th and meet the state pre-play requirements and are not intended to replace an annual well-child exam. Students may sign in and register for their physicals from 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. at The Center at 2200 NE Neff Road in Bend, west side of St. Charles Hospital. Physicals begin at 5:30 p.m. and are on a first come, first served basis. Students MUST have parent or guardian signature on the state required physical form BEFORE receiving the physical. A $10 donation is appreciated to help cover costs.
The Deschutes County Health Department will also be offering teen immunizations on both evenings. Last year TCF conducted over 486 physicals at this event with a return value to the community of approximately $60,000. This community-based event is possible only because of the sponsors, local physician participation, and the assistance of dozens of volunteers from the community. Volunteer opportunities are still available if anyone would like to support local kids by helping.
A Health and Wellness Fair will run concurrent with the physicals. Many organizations will be present to talk with students and their parents about health, wellness, nutrition, fitness, and safety concerns.
For more information on the physicals, research, and immunizations or to volunteer contact Claire Irvine at 382-3344 x 2718 or go to www.centerfoundation.org. The physical form may be downloaded from the website.