Expert: Honesty Is The Best Policy When Kids Get Physical Exams

Statewide Iowa — Iowa students head back to school in a few weeks and as student-athletes take their physicals, they’re reminded it’s vital to be honest with their doctors about any troubles they’re having.

Andrea Winters, a physician assistant in pediatric cardiology, says last week’s incident where the 18-year-old son of NBA star Lebron James was struck by cardiac arrest during basketball practice at USC shows the critical importance of regular physicals.

Winters says Bronny James’ life was likely saved by the fast response, and he was released from the hospital a few days afterward. She says Iowa parents need to discuss why it’s a smart move for everyone to get annual check-ups, not just student-athletes.

A child might be afraid to mention warning signs of a problem that could be life-threatening, but Winters says it’s crucial they tell the truth, as the cure could be relatively simple.

The problem could also be a heart issue, but it can’t be addressed if the doctors don’t know to look for it. Adults may know the signs of a heart problem, but kids may need to be educated as to what’s normal and what’s not.

It’s important for everyone to know hands-only CPR, Winters says, as well as to call 911 right away in an emergency. She also advocates putting the Pulse Point app on your phone which can direct you to the nearest AED, or automatic external defibrillator.