Doctors want more students to get physicals this year despite exemptions

A new check that physicians have added to the physicals this year is for mental health.

FARGO, ND – The North Dakota High School Activities Association is allowing students to use last year’s physicals due to the coronavirus.

It’s just one of the reasons parents may be choosing to opt out their students of getting a new physical done ahead of the new school year.

Concerns over safety of the clinics may have discouraged some parents from getting them done as well.

“Our hospital has done a very good job of limiting who can come in. Whether they have symptoms or not, everybody wears a mask inside. It’s relatively safe, I wouldn’t have any concerns bringing my kids in,” said Dr. Scott Grindel, a physician with Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine.

The physicals cover everything from wellness checks, to immunizations.

“The ones that we immunize against, most of them have pretty bad side effects, so you don’t want your kids to have, say for instance, Polio. We can immunize against that,” said Dr. Grindel.

Sanford also says its vital for student athletes who may have injured themselves in the past to get checked out before playing sports again.

“The other thing that is really important is to get their muscles and joints evaluated, because a lot of them have been off all this time, and have deconditioned,” said Dr. Grindel, “They aren’t as strong as they would be, so if they have a history of chronic ankle sprains or knee problems, those can become worse after we decondition.”

A new check that physicians have added to the physicals this year is for mental health.

“Particularly this year, because kids get isolated, they get depressed, they get anxious. They may be very anxious about going out in public again, or getting sick. So addressing those things, and treating them as they occur is very important,” said Dr. Grindel.

Students who did not get a physical in 2019 must get a physical done before returning to school in 2020.

Categories: Coronavirus, Health, Local News