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My Child is Older, Does He/She Really Need a Checkup?

When your child is preschool age it often seems routine to get a checkup.  After the kindergarten checkup many people wonder what the purpose of a checkup really is. KPA and the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend physicals every year through adolescence and into young adult years.

There are no more dynamic times in one’s entire life than the pediatric years when growth, developmental progress, school performance issues, social interactions, athletic readiness, allergies, weight to height relationships, curvature of the spine, digestive issues, nutrition concerns, acne, bullying, abuse, family discords, puberty questions, height predictions to name a few issues, are requiring attention regularly.  Your pediatrician is especially skilled, like no other medical provider, to address these and myriads of other problems that are part of the physical, social, and emotional makeup of the ever changing child.

Things such as need for immunizations at 7th grade are necessary and important but only a small part of the pediatrician’s focus. Camp and sports physicals are items that can be addressed without last minute rushes when you get a regular yearly exam.  New and updated immunizations are frequently available to protect against diseases you don’t want your child to get. Getting these done at work or walk-in clinics removes the continuity of regularly addressing growth and overall health as they relate to the past medical, family, and social history that might be uniquely known to your child’s pediatrician.

All of your KPA pediatricians are board certified and maintain currency as required by the board.  This mean retesting on a regular basis as well as yearly requirements for continuing education.  Your KPA doctors additionally maintain competency in pediatric emergency management.

Your child’s health is important to us and to you. Watching them grow with the confidence that a regular complete exam is helpful for us and ultimately for you and your child.  If it has been over a year since your last checkup take the time to call for an appointment.  Waits are not typically long.

 

Overuse Injuries

Each year, many children and adolescents suffer sports-related injuries.  While most sports injuries are acute, it is estimated that over half of all injuries are a result of overuse.  An overuse injury is an injury sustained after repeated use.  It occurs as a result of repetitive trauma to a bone, ligament, or tendon without allowing adequate time for healing.  Overuse injuries may be difficult to recognize because the symptoms can be subtle and can occur over a period of time.  Some common examples include Little League elbow, jumper’s knee, swimmer’s shoulder, and tennis elbow.  Young athletes can be at increased risk of developing overuse injuries because they are skeletally immature.  There are several other factors that may lead to these injuries including improper training and faulty mechanics.  Some experts have suggested that sports specialization may also play a role in the development of overuse injuries.

A pre-participation physical may detect injuries or identify risk factors for developing overuse injuries.  Participating in appropriate training and practicing proper mechanics can also help prevent injuries.  It may be beneficial for young athletes to cross train and to play different sports throughout the year in order to avoid placing too much stress on one bone or muscle group.  If a child or adolescent develops pain or discomfort with exercise, he or she should decrease the frequency or duration of exercise and rest.  If symptoms persist, the athlete should consult with his or her pediatrician.