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'It's always better safe than sorry,' Pueblo student athletes get low-cost sport physicals for spring season

The Pueblo Community Health Center checks cardiac health issues and history before clearing students to play
Posted at 5:55 PM, Feb 22, 2023

PUEBLO, Colorado — PUEBLO, COLORADO— The Pueblo Community Health Center (PCHC) is offering $30 sports physicals until Feb. 27th.

Every year, middle and high school student athletes must complete a sports physical to play.

Locations include PCHC School-Based Wellness Centers at Centennial, Central, East, and Pueblo County High Schools, Chávez/Huerta K-12 Preparatory Academy, as well as PCC Student Health Center. Call (719) 543-8711 ext. 700 to book an appointment.

"Any family history of sudden collapse or cardiac arrest," asked a PCHC provider Ashlie Long.

Students who experience chest pain or dizziness while exercising, or are at risk for head injury may need to see a specialist before getting cleared to play.

"That could take unfortunately sometimes four to six weeks," said Long. "We would rather have you sit out for now, get you taken care of and healthy and then you have no issues later on."

The Pueblo School District Athletic Director, Aaron Bravo, said the need for affordable sports physicals is high.

"We never want any student to not participate for any financial reasons," said Bravo.

There have been a lot of health scares in the sports world recently. Most notable is, Buffalo Bills' safety Damar Hamlin.

"I think it just reinforces what we already do," said Bravo. "[Hamlin] just gave some reason to show why we do the things that we do."

One Central High School basketball player, Jaime Enciso, said he understands the importance of speaking up during sports physicals.

"If you think it's like a little injury, that could lead to a grave injury like being career-ending so you never really know," said Enciso. "It's always better safe than sorry."

Enciso said he never had any problems on the court.

"Thank God I have not, I have not experienced any concussions, any type of problems, nothing, I've been healthy all my four years of playing basketball," said Enciso.

He doesn't have to get another sport physical to play spring volleyball.

"It's a relief because... if you wait until the last minute, you really never know when doctors could get you in so it could be really stressful," said Enciso.

Long said there haven't been any updates to sports physicals since Damar. She said there may be additional precautions down the line.

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