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Sports Physicals For Kids: Why So “Ducky?”

Dear American Academy of Pediatrics,

I think there is a mistake. Kids have recently started coming into the office with forms for sports physicals, and the form is different. See below:

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Someone added stuff to the form! Not only do we have to continue the inexplicable obsession with the hernia check (for maximum humiliation of boys, we try to use only female examiners for this), there’s a bunch of new stuff.

I do understand why we need to check for heart problems, with the risk of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy that can kill previously healthy kids. But what’s this with the femoral and radial pulses? Yes, I know it’s a screening test for coarctation of the aorta, but so is a simple pedal pulse check. Plus, checking a femoral pulse on kids is almost as bad as a hernia check.

Duckwalk_Merlot.JPG

Then there’s the “functional” part of the exam. The kids all think this is hilarious, but we were quite confused. I never was taught in medical school or residency what a “Duck-walk” was. I did a Google search and found that it is a brand of wine, but I don’t think that’s appropriate for a sports physical (you know, with underage drinking being such a problem).

ChuckBerryDuckWalk.gif

Google also had lots of pictures of Chuck Berry. I assume his walk in a squat position is referred to as a “duck walk.” So are we supposed to have them do air guitar and pretend to be Chuck Berry?

Would the Chicken Dance be okay? Most of the kids these days have never heard of Chuck Berry.

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Then finally, there’s the hopping on one leg thing. Why would hopping on one leg include or exclude a child from sports participation? Wouldn’t a child who couldn’t hop on one leg have a low likelihood of making the team in the first place? What exactly are we looking for? I guess if we gave them some of that Duck Walk merlot, they pretty much would do anything. Come to think of it, I wonder if they were drinking merlot when they made this form.

I wanted to bring this to your attention because it’s caused quite a stir among the teens. They apparently are swapping stories about doing duck walks and are very disappointed with having to do the Chicken Dance. Somebody thought that hernia checks were not humiliating enough and wanted to share the love with girls as well.

I hope you fix this problem as soon as possible.

Sincerely,

Dr. Rob

*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind*


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