Anaheim doctor refreshes the national sports physical

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Anaheim-based pediatric and sports medicine specialist Dr. Chris Koutures was one of six physicians selected nationwide to work with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help develop new national guidelines for sports physicals, an exam to determine the medical eligibility of students before they are medically cleared to participate in organized sport such as team sport, individual sport or attend sports camps from middle school through college years.

ActiveKidMD participated with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to help develop new national guidelines for the Preparticipation Physical Evaluation (PPE), also known as the sports physical. The updated publication, “Preparticipation Physical Evaluation 5th Edition” provides new guidance for thePPE that includes evaluating students’ mental health, as well as additional information on transgender and female athletes.

Dr. Koutures was instrumental in developing these national guidelines that include shorter, new forms for sports physicals as well as helping to co-write and edit comprehensive guidelines on sports physicals. He worked with other AAP colleagues and representatives from five other national primary care and sports medicine organizations to jointly produce the exam requirements which are intended to encourage sports participation safety and promote healthy lifestyles. The PPE also is endorsed by the National Federation of State High School Associations and National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

“As an American Academy of Pediatrics member, I was asked to help write and edit the 5th Edition Preparticipation Physical Evaluation Monograph,” said Dr. Chris Koutures. “The monograph was developed by six national primary care and sports medicine organizations. My colleagues and I co-wrote and co-edited comprehensive guidelines on sports physicals. We developed updated forms with less questions and came up with important updates, changes and points of emphasis to help young athletes. One of the biggest recommendations to come from this is the incorporation of the sports physical into the student’s routine health screening visit for important reasons related to privacy, access to comprehensive medical records, time for anticipatory guidance and updating immunizations.”

Many sports teams, camps and other organized activities require parents to submit their child’s physical evaluation form, signed by a physician or primary care provider, before the child may participate in the activity.  As part of the PPE, forms are available that will cover the child’s health history, physical examination and medical eligibility. 

The updated guidelines acknowledge that, increasingly, teens and young adults struggle with mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. During the sports physical, a physician can cover topics such as bullying, drug and alcohol use, and birth control within a safe, confidential space.

Dr. Chris Koutures

About ActiveKidMD and Dr. Chris Koutures

Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Anaheim, Calif., ActiveKidMD is one of the leading pediatric offices in Orange County. With an emphasis on the whole child, ActiveKidMD specializes not only in pediatric medicine, but also in pediatric sports medicine. The new website, features an Advice by Sport section. Here a parent will find the answers to many questions related directly to each sport to help keep their player healthy and injury free, and to help a parent identify when to call the doctor if an injury occurs.

Dr. Chris Koutures is a board certified pediatrician and sports medicine specialist. He is often a Backstage SoCal contributor as a local expert. He is also currently the team physician for:

  • United States Men’s and Women’s National Volleyball Teams
  • Cal State Fullerton Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Chapman University Dance Department

He is a member of the CHOC Children’s Concussion Program and currently mentors pediatric residents, medical and athletic training students in his office while continuing to speak at local, regional and national conferences on sports medicine topics. He completed a six-year elected term as a member of the Executive Committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, has written over 20 professional articles, and is the co-author of the Pediatric Sports Medicine: Essentials for Office Evaluation textbook published by SLACK Incorporated in October, 2013.

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