Just as adults need to see their physician at least once a year for a wellness visit, so do children. You wouldn’t hesitate to take them if they are sick, but it’s just as beneficial to take them when they are not. It’s a way to be sure your child is developing according to certain benchmarks and that there are no medical or developmental issues. If this is news to you, here is what to expect during your child’s well-child visit.
Purposes Of A Well-Child Visit
Both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend a schedule of wellness visits for children. They have broken down the most important reasons into three parts.
Regularly scheduled visits to Pediatric Associates, Inc. ensure your child gets immunizations to attend school and to prevent illness. As schools and daycares slowly reopen, it is essential to protect your child from communicable diseases.
The flu, measles, and whooping cough are extremely contagious. In fact, measles and whooping cough have increased in the last several years, and they can be serious for infants and young children.
The CDC lists the important diseases that must be prevented by vaccines.
In addition, your child’s hearing and vision will be checked to catch anything worrisome.
Children grow so quickly, and these visits will track whether proper development is occurring to meet milestones for their age. Many common developmental delays are found during these routine well-child visits. Medical problems, such as hypothyroidism and celiac disease may present as a growth delay before other symptoms develop. Scoliosis may develop and worsen between the ages of 11 and 16.
- A thorough physical exam will be performed with a blood pressure check along with heart rate and breathing assessments.
- Pediatric Associates, Inc. will ask questions about any concerns you may have about their growth and will offer advice and counseling.
- Learning issues will be discussed, and problems with social interactions plus mood and behavior can be addressed. Are there any sudden changes?
- Sports physicals are part of the annual well-child visit if your child wants to participate in school or community sports.
As children grow into teens, these visits may include discussion of issues regarding peers, smoking, alcohol, and sexual health.
Deal With Concerns
During each visit there will be time for you to bring up issues which concern you. Come with a list of concerns regarding such things as behavior, sleeping patterns, diet, and social interaction with family members and peers.
This chart makes recommendations about a schedule of child-well visits and a tool kit for parents.
It’s easy to postpone or skip doctor visits entirely when everything seems fine, but don’t do it. A minor issue today can turn into something serious if it’s not addressed. Maintaining these visits provides quick intervention and supports your child’s physical needs along with their overall growth and development.