Pediatrics

From the first day of your child’s life, you can trust the experts at Essentia Health to provide exceptional pediatric primary care and support the needs of your family.

What’s a Pediatrician?

Pediatricians are doctors who provide care for the unique needs of children during their critical developmental years (birth to age 21). Rely on Essentia’s pediatricians to provide compassionate and comprehensive care during your child’s journey to adulthood, including:

  • Preventive care, such as well-child visit and routine screenings
  • Growth and development monitoring
  • Diagnosing and treating illnesses, infections, and injuries
  • Managing chronic conditions

If your child has a complex health situation, a pediatrician can address potential problems early and refer your child to a pediatric specialist. Take advantage of Essentia’s collaborative, streamlined process for coordinating care.

Team-Based Care

Essentia’s staff is driven to make sure you and your child have a positive experience. Trust our team of professionals to:

  • Get to know your child and family
  • Help you navigate the health care system
  • Schedule appointments and coordinate follow-up care
  • Send information to all the members of your child’s health care team
  • Update your child’s care plan

You can count on this team to work together and care for your child as if they were their own. Parents can access their child's medical record via Essentia's MyChart portal. With MyChart, you can schedule appointments with your child's family medicine doctor or pediatrician and communicate with their care team online. More Information

What is a Well-Child Visit?

A well-child visit is one of the best ways to make sure your child is healthy and thriving. Kids bodies grow and change quickly, which is why an annual well-child visit is so important.

At a well-child visit, your pediatrician or primary care doctor will:

  • Perform a physical exam
  • Give the child any necessary shots, such as immunizations or vaccinations
  • Track your child's growth and ask about development and behavior
  • Talk about illness prevention, nutrition and physical fitness, and health and safety issues
  • Talk about how to handle emergencies and sudden illness
  • Discuss any mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression

Schedule a well-child visit with your pediatrician or family medicine doctor.

How Often Should My Child See a Doctor?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following schedule for well-child exams:

American Academy of Pediatrics Recommendations

  • Newborn
  • Two to four weeks
  • Two months
  • Four months
  • Six months
  • Nine months
  • 12 months
  • 15 months
  • 18 months
  • 24 months
  • 30 months
  • 36 months
  • Once every year after the age of three

Regular vision exams can put your child on a healthy path. Learn more about recommended pediatric vision care at Essentia Health.

Vaccines for Children

Count on us to protect your child’s health with recommended childhood immunizations [PDF]. Essentia has received recognition for going above immunization goals set by the Minnesota Department of Health.

Medical Insight: Whooping Cough Video Transcript

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A gradient blue featuring several Essentia Health logos appears. Text, Medical Insight.

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SPEAKER: Welcome to Medical Insight, a weekly health care feature brought to you by the experts at Essentia Health. Here's your host, Maureen Talarico.

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Medical Insight host, Maureen Talarico, speaks to the camera.

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MAUREEN TALARICO: Today on Medical Insight, we talk with pediatrician Dr. Jonathan Kenknight about pertussis, more commonly known as whopping cough.

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Dr. Jonathan Kenknight, pediatrician, speaks to the camera. He wears a blue stethoscope, and sits in a patient examination room.

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DR. JONATHAN KENKNIGHT: Pertussis is a bacterial infection. It causes a disease called whooping cough, which usually leads to just a lingering, annoying cough in most people.

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Dr. Kenknight places his stethoscope on the chest of a small child.

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However, babies, if they get infected, unfortunately can have serious complications, including apnea, where they stop breathing, serious seizures or brain infections, pneumonias, and sometimes, unfortunately, death. Whooping cough is spread in respiratory secretions. So sneezing or just coughing. If you've been exposed and you have started coughing or you have a cold and the cough is lasting about three days or so, it's a good time to come in and get checked, especially if you're around infants. Otherwise, if you don't know of any exposure, and you have a sort of a cold that's lingering and then you develop a cough. Once you've had a cough for about a week, most coughs should be starting to get better by then, and if yours isn't, you could have whooping cough. So it's a good idea to come in and get a test. MAUREEN TALARICO: Dr. Kenknight explains a series of vaccines is the best thing to do to protect yourself and loved ones. DR. JONATHAN KENKNIGHT: So vaccination is the number one thing you can do to prevent yourself from getting whooping cough. There are more incidences of whipping cough and outbreaks that have happened over the last years. This is not a disease that is eliminated by vaccinations. You're still at risk of getting it, and the boosters are important.

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Dr. Kenknight exams the ear of a small child in an exam room.

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The booster vaccine confers immunity for about five years. If you have a close family member who is having a baby or expecting, please talk with your doctor. MAUREEN TALARICO: For Medical Insight, I'm Maureen Talarico. SPEAKER: To learn more about this topic, call our experts at 786-3107.

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Text, Medical Insight. Phone number, 218-786-3107. Website, essentia health dot org. The Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health. Here with you.

Bedwetting

Medical Insight: Bedwetting Video Transcript

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The Essentia Health logo consisting of three leaves in a circle appears. Text, Essentia Health, Medical Insight

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TRACY BRIGGS: Any parent who's gotten up in the middle of the night to change their child's sheets will tell you bed-wetting can be troubling for the entire household. But what can be done about it? Dr. Nour Baltagi, a pediatrician with advanced training in nephrology at Essentia Health in Fargo says parents shouldn't be concerned about bed-wetting before the age of about five. If a child older than that is wetting the bed, there are several possible reasons why. Genetics, they're more likely to wet the bed if one or both parents did, delayed maturation of the bladder and nervous system, they have a small or hyperactive bladder, a urinary tract infection, or they're drinking too much before bedtime. Sometimes constipation is causing bladder pressure. Dr. Baltagi says bed-wetting is physically pretty benign, but psychologically it can lead to behavior issues and low self-esteem. DR. NOUR BALTAGI: These kids many times they don't socialize. They don't want to go for sleep over. They don't want to go to summer camp exactly for this reason. TRACY BRIGGS: Dr. Baltagi says parents can try to stop the bed-wetting on their own by encouraging their children to eat more vegetables to alleviate constipation and also limiting foods that make them thirsty. Also consider a beverage budget of sorts. Let kids consume 40% in the morning, 40% in the early afternoon, and just 20% in the late afternoon. If that doesn't work Dr. Baltagi says to see a physician who might prescribe an anti-democratic pill or suggest you use a bed-wetting alarm, which sounds with the first drop of urine. DR. NOUR BALTAGI: The bed-wetting alarm it will-- it is, kind of, conditioning treatment. It will tell your brain to inhibit the bladder reflex. TRACY BRIGGS: Dr. Baltagi says most children will outgrow bed-wetting, but the worst thing parents can do is punish the child for it. DR. NOUR BALTAGI: That does not help. That kid will have more low self-esteem, and it doesn't help, because it's not their fault. TRACY BRIGGS: With this Essentia Health Medical Insight, I'm Tracy Briggs.

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Essentia Health Logo. Text, Essentia Health, Medical Insight.

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