The purpose of this annual event is to ensure the athlete is safe to play his/her sport. The idea is to identify any condition that could lead to an injury.
In the young athlete, the leading cause of death is sudden cardiac death. Screening for cardiovascular risks is a critical component.
The two parts of the pre-season screening is the history and physical. The history is a questionnaire, that is filled out prior to the screening, with the help of a parent when necessary. Many conditions are found from these answers.The physical includes, at the least, vitals, vision, heart and orthopedic systems. At times, further testing may be required.
Screening should be six weeks prior to sports participation. This will allow time to perform necessary testing if indicated, and thereby minimizing the potential for missed time to play.
An annual physical is still needed and the pre-season physical should not replace the annual medical physical and vice versa.