News Release

May 3, 2004

Contact: Maureen McGuire, 860-679-4523

Sports Physicals and Athletic Testing for Student Athletes June 9th at UConn Health Center

Meets Requirements for 2004-2005 School Year

FARMINGTON, Conn. – Sports medicine specialists from the University of Connecticut Health Center will run a marathon session on Wednesday, June 9, when physicals and National Athletic Testing Protocols (NATP) will be offered from 2 to 7 p.m. for athletes from local elementary, middle and high schools.

The cost is $25 per athlete. All participants will receive a free UConn tee shirt. Physicals will meet requirements for the upcoming 2004-2005 school year and will include risk assessment, height and weight measurements, vision testing, heart and lung assessment, and more.

The NATP allows local athletes to compare their abilities to others throughout the country. Testing includes: vertical jump, upper body strength, sprinting, flexibility, and agility. NATP testing will be offered by staff from HealthSouth Sports Medicine Network.

Experts will also provide advice about planning summer workout schedules.

The event will be take place at the Health Center’s Department of Orthopaedics in the 10 Talcott Notch professional building. This is a few blocks east of the Health Center’s main, Farmington Avenue entrance, at the traffic light after the Talcott Plaza. To register, call the Health Center at 800-535-6232 or 679-7692, locally.

“Young athletes have unique health needs. Regular physicals and screenings by specially trained health professionals are essential tools to help children and teens avoid serious injuries,” explains UConn sports medicine expert, Carl Nissen, M.D.

“Exercise typically comes easily to children because of their naturally high energy and activity levels,” he added. “However, parents need to be aware of basic safety rules for children when exercising and playing organized sports.”

According to the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, more than 3 million children experience sports or recreation-related injuries every year. These include injuries caused by trauma – sprains, strains and broken bones – as well as injuries caused by overuse and improper techniques.

To help keep young athletes healthy this summer, Dr. Nissen offered the following advice:

Warm Up: A few minutes of stretching and warm-up exercises will “warm” muscles by increasing blood flow, and help prevent injuries from muscle strain.

Wear Protective Equipment and Make Sure it Fits Properly: These include mouth guards and helmets to protect the tongue, teeth and head when playing sports where the mouth could get hit; and elbow, wrist and knee pads to protect bones and joints from fractures and bruises.

Know When to Say When: Some children and teens seems to be able to run all day, but exercising should stop if children become dizzy, nauseous, severely tired or experience pain. Also, it’s important not to play with an injury, Dr. Nissen said.

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