Intermountain Healthcare

Intermountain Pediatrician Notices Subtle Symptoms at Child's Check-Up That Lead to Important Diagnosis


Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/11/2021 --Connor Flitton is a healthy, social 16-year-old high schooler who works two jobs, one at an auto shop and the other at his favorite air soft recreational space near Hill Air Force Base in Utah. He loves to golf, ski and go boating.

But six years ago, when Connor was 10 years old, his mom took him in for a well-check with their Intermountain Layton Clinic pediatrician, Dr. Steve Aird.

"Connor seemed tired all the time and kept falling asleep everywhere – at school or even when hanging out with friends," said Rebecca Flitton, Connor's mom.

At the visit, Dr. Aird also noted Connor hadn't grown a lot in the last year, but he'd put on weight in his face.

"It would have been an easy thing to miss," says Rebecca.

But Dr. Aird wanted to look into it further and ordered some lab tests. Turns out Connors thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels were extremely high. Dr. Aird referred Connor to a specialist at the Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital clinics. The staff there were shocked, since Conner looked pretty good for having such high numbers.

The specialist diagnosed Connor with Hashimoto's Disease, an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland at the base of the neck. And since it progresses slowly, it can be difficult to diagnose.

"I always keep up on well-child visits and with my three boys – even during the pandemic," says Rebecca. "If it weren't for that visit six years ago, Connor's condition could have gone undiagnosed. With a treatment plan and medication, he's grown and is doing great."

"With everything else going on in the last year, it's easy to have fallen behind on medical check-ups for your children," said Dr. Aird, Connor's Intermountain pediatrician who recognized Connor's subtle symptoms and thought something wasn't right. "But, now is not the time to be missing those important well-child visits and getting up-to-date on vaccinations."

"Now is a great time to plan ahead and get your child scheduled for their annual well-check or physical that's needed for camp or sports or athletic teams, as we look toward being ready to attend school in the Fall."

Intermountain Healthcare follows well-child visit guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. At each appointment Intermountain pediatricians or family practice providers track and evaluate children's growth and development. Well-child visits involve a full exam including the ears, eyes, mouth, skin, heart, lungs, abdomen, hips and legs.

Well-child visits are recommended at the following intervals:

- Within 1-2 days after leaving the hospital after birth
- 2 weeks
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 12 months
- 15 months
- 18 months
- 24 months
- Annually between the ages of 3 and 18 years

Each visit will include:

- Age-appropriate screening questions (relating to lead exposure, tuberculosis risk, and fluoride)
- A full physical examination
- Developmental screening
- Any needed immunizations
- Tracking growth and development
- Providing information on health and safety issues
- Discussing nutrition and physical fitness
- Providing guidance and answering your questions

In addition, some visits include:

- Laboratory screening (lead and hemoglobin levels)
- Autism Screening at 18 and 24 months of age
- Hearing screening
- Vision screening
- Other testing as needed

Well child visits are a great time to discuss a child's development, milestones, social behaviors and learning. It's good to make a list of a few topics to talk about such as development, behavior, sleep, eating or getting along with other family members.

Regular visit also create opportunities for strong, trustworthy relationships among pediatrician, parent and child. Intermountain Healthcare experts are available throughout Utah, Idaho, or Nevada, or suggest parent's reach out to pediatricians in their area.

About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,600 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs. For more information about Intermountain, visit, read our blogs, connect with us on Twitter and Facebook, or follow us on LinkedIn and YouTube.