SAN ANTONIO -

School started Monday for some parochial students, but for others, the school year begins on the playing field.

Young athletes are getting physical.

Doctors and trainers warn parents that it's time to keep a very watchful eye if your child is pushing themselves in sports.

Before young athletes play sports, they should be visiting a doctor.

"(Doctors will) listen to your heart, they listen to your lungs (and) make sure that your vital organs are safe for you to be involved in strenuous activity in the heat," said John Carollo, a sports medicine manager.

That's required every other year in many school districts.

But parents should want to do it every year.

According to Carollo, who practices sports medicine with the Talons and the Scorpions, sports fitness goes beyond an exam.

"What we find a lot of the time is that what happens with the team and on the field isn't necessarily told to the adults there because they want to be tough, but then they'll go home and cry to mamma," he said.

Carolla says that's when your parenting instinct should be to ask some crucial questions: "Did somebody look at it? Did you tell somebody? If they have bad headaches, did you get hit today? What did you have for lunch today? Do you remember everything? Those sorts of things."

Carolla says paying attention to changes in your child's post sports practice behavior will often tell you if something's going wrong.

How much or little they talk, sleep, smile and eat after the workout can give you the clues you need.

If in doubt, he says to talk to the school's coach or trainer or just go to the doctor yourself.