Health is an investment, not an expense. While most people know to purchase insurance for their homes, or life insurance for themselves, they may not realize the immense importance of regular pediatric check-ups for their children. A simple step you can take to ensure a better quality of life for your little one, the magnitude of early childhood check-ups cannot be overstated. In addition to setting a good precedent for the rest of your child’s life, they build a trusting bond between parent, child, and pediatrician.
Because childhood is a time of rapid changes and development, it’s of the utmost importance to make sure your child is having their consistent wellness check-ups. The American Academy of Pediatrics has developed an easy-to-follow guideline called “Bright Futures”, which assists parents and helps them take control of their child’s early development care. According to healthychildren.org, this unique program supplies parents with pre-visit questionnaires that address your family and child’s emotional well-being, nutrition, safety, and more.
At early childhood check-ups, your child will receive regularly scheduled immunizations that are proven to prevent a multitude of diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines not only protect your child, but also help to protect future generations from diseases. Smallpox and Polio – which were once dreaded diseases that swept the nation – are no longer a crisis; in fact, Smallpox shots are now obsolete due to the eradication of the disease altogether. That’s just one example of the power of prevention.
Due to the great strides made by the federally-funded Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, financial obstacles will no longer prevent low income families from having access to these important measures. The program provides vaccines with no out-of-pocket cost to those who might otherwise go without.
Growth is one the factors your pediatrician will address during early check-ups. A customary part of any visit, growth charts allow the pediatrician to see how they are growing compared to other children of the same age and gender. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, many diseases – gastrointestinal, heart, hormonal, kidney, and infectious – will present growth failure months, and even years, prior to any other symptoms. By monitoring a child’s growth patterns, doctors can address a multitude of ailments far before any other systems may arise.
Without undercutting the immense importance of vaccines, early check-ups are so much more than just being about shots and recording height & weight. According to the CDC, about 13% of children aged 3 to 17 years of age in the United States have a developmental disability – whether it be Autism, Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), an intellectual disability, or difficulty with language. Wellness visits allow pediatricians to monitor your child’s speech, and how they play and interact with others. The earlier these disabilities are addressed, the more guidance they can glean from resources such as doctors, psychologists, and medical professionals.
The AAP advises that all children be screened for developmental delays and disabilities at 9 months, 18 months, and again at 24 or 30 months, and it is recommended that all children over the age of 3 receive an annual wellness check. The reality is: all developmental disabilities are best treated when they are diagnosed and addressed as soon as possible.
Are you putting off childcare visits due to your child’s phobias of the doctor? Bringing your child’s favorite toy or offering a treat afterward can ease their anxiety and calm their fears over doctor visits. A perfect chance to address concerns and questions, parents will benefit from compiling a list of questions prior to attending pediatric visits.
The experienced team at Children’s Health Care recognizes the need for holistic care. Established in 1972, and comprised of board-certified pediatricians, nurse practitioners, nurses, a pediatric nutritionist, and a special needs expert, they believe that being “healthy” means much more than not being sick. It’s about living one’s best life.
CHC provides a complete package that not only addresses your child’s physical needs, but delves deeper – ensuring that they receive emotional and mental support during these crucial years. Remember: as a parent, you possess the power to ensure that your children receive the attention they deserve. contact your preferred CHC location today to schedule an appointment!