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HEALTHBEAT 4: Back to school wellness checks

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SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (KTIV) -- Preparing for the new school year is about more than just new clothes and gear. Your child may need other things to ensure a successful year ahead, like a back-to-school physical exam.

"Obviously the goal is to keep people as healthy as we can and keep people out of the office," said Jason Losee, UnityPoint Clinic Family Medicine Physician.

Back to school, back to the doctor. Getting ready for the school year may entail the annual wellness checkup.

'The most important part of a back to school wellness visit is reviewing any concerns that parents or the child might have," said Dr. Losee. "It's the opportunity to bring up anything that they have concerns regarding and ask any questions regarding the child's health or development or how they're doing in school."

Dr. Losee said the checkups also help monitor growth and educational performance. They also do a physical exam and make sure kids are up to date on preventative healthcare like vaccines.

"There's another set of vaccines that are given just before a child enters kindergarten and then we do some more vaccine when the child gets about the age of 10 or 11," said Dr. Losee.

Dr. Losee said he also likes to give kids the opportunity to ask their own questions.

"There's a lot of changes that happen during childhood and development and just make sure things are going in the right direction," said Dr. Losee.

He said some parents bring up concerns about the child's anxiety or stress in school.

"Their performance at school, how their focus is or their attention is at school," said Dr. Losee. "If need be we can do screening questionnaires for various different anxiety, or depression, or attention deficiencies."

Dr. Losee said his main goal though is to just check in on his patients at least once a year.

"Give each other a fist bump and say see you next year," said Dr. Losee.

Knowing your family's medical history, and current medicines can also be extremely important for these checkups.

Michaela Feldmann

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