Well Child Visits
One of the key responsibilities of parents is to make sure their newborns remain healthy during their formative years.
Besides providing routine health care, well child visits are important because they are effective in helping to prevent and detect illnesses and problems before symptoms occur.
Regular pediatric well child visits are intended specifically for children from birth through their teen years. This is a period of rapid growth and change and is the best time to address conditions that can affect their long term overall health and development.
Pediatrician and family interaction
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), an ongoing relationship between a family and their pediatrician is a key requirement of quality health care for children.
This relationship helps to build a level of trust that is important to achieving effective communication during the well child visit. Additionally, the AAP believes that simply taking a child to the doctor when he or she is not feeling well is not sufficient in helping to ensure continued healthy development. Well child visits permit parents to prepare topics for discussion in concert with their child's examination.
An important time for you and your child
Well child visits focus on helping to maintain your child's health by monitoring a number of important areas to help assure their health and to identify conditions which may not openly manifest themselves. Important aspects of these visits include:
- An evaluation of your child's growth and development
- A discussion of safety, nutrition, fitness, behavior, school, peer interaction, day to day family life, etc.
- Addressing attention or learning challenges
- A complete physical examination
- Recording your child's height, weight, and other important information
- Assessing body mass index for identifying and preventing obesity
- Developmental screenings, if appropriate
- Diseases currently "going around" that may affect your child
- Age-appropriate screening tests (including hearing, vision, hemoglobin, etc.)
- Age appropriate immunizations
- An opportunity to ask questions
Well-visit examination schedule
The frequency of well child visits is generally determined by your health care provider and can vary depending on how experienced the parents are. As mentioned previously, the frequency of visits is intended to make sure your child is developing properly and may follow the schedule listed below: