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Doctor reaches out to kids

Dr. Jill Klemin is taking time this spring to visit local schools.
Jill Klemin, MD is taking time this spring to visit local schools.
  Lifting weights, cycling and running are forms of exercise that are good for the body, but, when assessing overall health, it’s also important to exercise the mind. That is a point that Jill Klemin, MD, family medicine doctor at Sanford Health, makes as she visits Bismarck classrooms to teach kindergarteners through second-graders about healthy habits.

Throughout April and May, Dr. Klemin is volunteering her time visiting elementary schools to help impressionable minds learn the importance of getting exercise, limiting “screen time” (TV, computer and video games) and making healthy food choices. Dr. Klemin also encourages students to brush their teeth, wear seatbelts and helmets, get 10 or more hours of sleep each night and keep their hands and bodies clean.

“I’ve always had an interest in pediatrics and

children’s health,” said Dr. Klemin, whose office is at Sanford North Clinic. “Having children myself, I know how inspired they can be by ideas, and I enjoy sharing information about healthy habits with them. They get so excited about making these changes.”

The typical 30-minute presentation is conducted in a classroom among chatty elementary students, colorful books and miniature desks. Dr. Klemin starts each presentation by reading Oh, the Things You Can Do That Are Good for You by Dr. Seuss. Then, it’s time for class participation.

With a raise of hands, Dr. Klemin asks “What is your bed time?” Excited answers from children fill the room, with answers ranging from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The questions continue, and responses are never few. The short lesson concludes with a sticker chart for each student to take home to track his or her healthy habits. It includes goals and healthy recipes for kids and their families to implement.

  Dr. Jill Klemin
Jill Klemin, MD

Family medicine

Dr. Klemin notes that when it comes to family medical care, it’s important to establish a relationship with a primary care provider.

“Many preventive health screenings, assessments and immunizations are provided through this avenue,” Dr. Klemin said. “The rates of childhood obesity are rapidly increasing, and I think that education is really important for the whole family and is best given by a primary care provider.”

Click here for more information about Sanford Health’s innovative pediatric services.


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