Caring for your child when he or she is sick is an essential part of parenting. However, regular visits to your pediatrician as your child grows are also a key to healthy development.
These visits allow you and your doctor to monitor the progress of your child as he or she advances from newborn to healthy teenager. Well-child visits usually start a few days after birth, and continue until age 18. Children have more frequent well-child visits when they are younger, especially as newborns, but they tend to get spread out as they get older.
Why Are Well-Child Visits Important?
Prevention. Your child gets their scheduled immunizations at the right stages to help prevent illness. Nutrition is also a key element of preventive care, along with hearing and vision checks. Preventive care will help your child develop into a healthy, happy adult.
Growth and development. You and your doctor will be able to see how your child has developed since their last visit. At each appointment, you will learn if your child is meeting the developmental milestones established by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Communication. Well-child visits empower you to ask any questions you may have about your child’s development and communicate any concerns you might have regarding his wellness. Prepare a list of your questions and topics to discuss in advance; it will help you make the most out of the time with your child’s doctor. Some of the topics you can focus on include development, nutrition, sleep, exercise, and behavior. You can also find out about other resources in your community that can help you and your child.
Team Spirit. Regular doctor visits help you bond with your pediatrician and other health care providers. Trustworthy relationships between pediatrician, family, and child provide better communication and help you be part of the team dedicated to your child’s wellness. This approach helps optimize your child’s physical and mental development.
What Should I Expect During a Well-Child Visit?
- Your doctor will conduct a thorough physical exam
- Your child will receive standard scheduled immunization and vaccinations
- Your child’s physical and mental growth and development will be tracked
- Your doctor will talk with you about important subjects such as illness prevention, diet, physical activity, social skills, and how to handle emergencies or sudden health changes in your child.
- Your will have an opportunity to ask questions. Your doctor has the knowledge and experience to manage the health of children, but only you have firsthand knowledge and experience with your own child. That’s why it is important for you to bring up anything you think is unusual or concerning.
Children’s Health Care of Massachusetts (CHC Mass) was the nation’s first community health center to open its doors in Boston, providing health services for low and moderate-income people in the inner-city areas, and isolated rural communities. Child-centered and family-focused, Child’s Health Care of Massachusetts is your family’s partner in health, providing compassionate and personalized care for your whole child.
If you have questions about the importance of regular check ups and their impact to your child’s health and development, Call your preferred pediatric office in Newburyport or Haverhill, or request an appointment online today.