High Schools Need Physicals to Prevent Tragedies in Athletics

Oconee County High School Athletic Director Luis Varela is taking precaution to prevent tragedies of death during athletic competition.

Luis Varela thinks unexpected deaths during sports is hard to control even with current physical exam processes.  However, he said that players are not allowed to play or participate in sports if not cleared by a doctor.  He and his team are committed to doing their part in looking out for athletes’ safety.

In the past week, a 12-year old from Buford collapsed during a Gwinnett league all-star, basketball game. Last summer, Adam Smith, 16, another Buford basketball player collapsed and died during a preseason game. Recently in Columbus, a Carver High School, 16-year old collapsed and went into cardiac arrest while jogging at wrestling practice. Physical health must precede physical ability.  These tragic deaths is a constant reminder.

Physicals are required by law before students are allowed to participate in athletics. Physicals review the patients heart health, joint and bones, familial medical history, any special needs, allergies, a physical exam and ultimately a clearance form signed by a physician or doctor.


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