It is back to school time and a child's health readiness is another item on the checklist for parents.  Dr. David Smith from Sartell Pediatrics joined me on WJON.  He says sports physicals are something they are doing right now with fall sports beginning.  Smith says going into 7th grade they talk with parents about meningitis and HPV vaccines.  The meningitis and tetanus vaccine are mandatory for most schools while the HPV vaccine remains optional.

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Smith suggests parents take advantage of open houses to help calm students' anxiety.  He says anxiety is a real concern for some kids.  Smith says anxiety can actually go from a psychological issue to a physical issue if not addressed. He explains that it can lead to stomach pain and headaches.  Smith says primary care doctors are working with teen patients more and more on stress and anxiety.  He says it is important to establish a trust with young people.

Fall sports practices are underway at many schools.  Smith says head injuries and concussions are concerns in the fall especially with football and soccer.  He says coaches, parents and kids should err on the side of caution if they suspect a concussion.  Smith explains that doctors no longer grade concussions on a spectrum of severe concussion to mild.  He says a good philosophy on concussions or suspected concussion is "when in doubt, sit them out".

If you'd like to listen to my 4-part Health Matters conversation with Dr. David Smith it is available below.






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