As COVID-19 infection rates decline and more and more adults are vaccinated, our families are has tested positive for COVID-19, it’s vital to get a thorough medical examination and heart check before your children become physically active.
New Canaan Pediatrics is here to explain why.
Why is a clearance physical important overall?
During your child’s clearance physical, we will check for any issues that may cause problems that could worsen with exertion. We will ensure that your child is in good health to run, jump and play. If we find any evidence of a health issue, we will order further testing or refer you to a pediatric cardiologist.
Why is getting back to physical activity important?
Physical activity is very beneficial to your child – physically, developmentally, emotionally and socially. When your child moves, they improve their cardiovascular health, increase strength and flexibility and boost their immune system. Whether it’s football or dance, physical activity creates habits that will prevent obesity for a lifetime. Being on a team, whether it’s organized or just the kids in your neighborhood, helps children learn to cooperate and communicate with their peers, and increases their opportunities for positive friendships. Your child’s body creates serotonin, dopamine and other “feel good” chemicals during physical activity which helps reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Why is a clearance physical vital after having COVID-19?
Research is showing that a small population of young and very healthy children who experienced COVID-19 are now being diagnosed with structural heart damage.
COVID-19 has caused enlarged heart including irregular rhythms, atrial fibrillation and ischemia (poor blood flow) which weaken the heart. When undetected and untreated, COVID-19 heart damage can cause SCD or sudden cardiac death. While this is not common in children, it does exist.
If your child or teen did experience symptoms of COVID-19, it’s important to get medical clearance and a heart check before they exercise, work out, train or compete. After clearance, your child should start their activity routine at a very low level, with 15 minutes or less of light activity and no more than 70% of their usual intensity. Kids should gradually work up to full activity in about seven days.
Your child could have sustained heart damage and be at risk of SCD even if they showed only mild symptoms of a COVID-19 infection.
Make an appointment for a post-COVID clearance physical to ensure your child can move their bodies in all the ways they want to, safely. Please call us at 203-972-4250 or click here to contact us.
Have questions about clearance physicals? Just ask! We are always happy to help.