Essentia Health Promotes Healthy Child/Teen Pre-Fall Exercise and School Year Visits – Pine and Lakes Echo Journal

BRAINERD – Essentia Health encourages healthy children/teens to visit during the fall and school year.

The visits include the completion of the compulsory physical sports forms and are for everyone from birth to the age of 21. They are recommended annually.

“Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of screenings like this has skyrocketed,” Essentia Health said in a press release. “It’s important to get back on track.”

When visiting a healthy child/teen, a pediatrician or family doctor will perform a comprehensive physical exam, take measurements such as height and weight, discuss any mental health concerns, update any vaccinations or vaccinations, complete athletic physical forms, and discuss health and safety issues, including disease prevention, nutrition and physical fitness.

According to Essentia Health experts, the goal is to ensure the physical and mental health of the patient, identify problem areas and ensure safety for fall sports. For this reason, the visits include screening for underlying cardiovascular diseases or cardiac arrhythmias that the patient and family would not otherwise be aware of that could pose a serious risk to athletic competition.

Children and adolescents have developed long-term health concerns following COVID-19 infections. One of the most common setbacks is damage to the heart. In severe cases, this can manifest as heart inflammation and potentially lead to sudden cardiac arrhythmias that cause the heart to beat either too fast or too slow. Damage to the heart may be accompanied by mild symptoms that may not set off alarm signals.

“Visiting healthy children is a great time to ensure your child or teen is healthy in all areas of life — growth, cognitive and social development, disease prevention, mental health and more,” said Dr. Jonathan KenKnight, Essentia Health’s pediatrician in the press release. “Each year we look forward to working with parents to meet families and ensure children thrive in every way.”

When age appropriate, issues such as substance abuse, healthy eating and sexual health are also discussed during child/teen visits.

Visit Essentia Health’s Child/Teen Health Checkup page for more information, including a list of the top questions to ask your child’s provider. Virtual or in-person visits can be scheduled on this website or through Essentia Health’s MyChart patient portal.

If you are only interested in completing sports forms, contact your local clinic to make an appointment.

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