A well-child check-up is a key part of maintaining your child’s overall health. These routine check-ups with a board-certified pediatrician aim to assess your child’s health and development, as well as identify health concerns early on.
Well-child check-ups are a valuable part of preventative health care and are recommended even when your child isn’t sick or experiencing symptoms. They help to ensure that your child is healthy and developing well, both physically and emotionally, and to check that all their vaccinations are fully up to date.
What Does A Well Child Check-up Involve?
A well-child check-up is a comprehensive assessment that aims to track your child’s physical, behavioral, and emotional health and development. This is to make sure they are healthy and to identify potential health issues in the earliest stages when treatment is typically most effective. A well-child check-up consists of several elements:
During a wellness check-up, your child’s personal and family health history is reviewed to check for any changes since the last visit. The pediatrician will then conduct a thorough, head-to-toe physical examination to assess your child’s growth and development. Depending on the age of your child, the pediatrician may:
- Measure height and weight (and head circumference during infancy)
- Check body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing
- Listen to the heart and lungs
- Examine the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, throat, abdomen, chest, and spine
- Check vision and hearing
- Assess skin health
- Watch your child walk to assess things like gait and coordination
- Check joints, reflexes, strength, and flexibility
Depending on factors such as the age of your child and their medical and family history, the pediatrician may recommend certain screening tests for your child. These are important tools for identifying underlying health conditions, such as anemia, tuberculosis, asthma, and diabetes, which may require intervention or treatment.
If your pediatrician identifies any potential health issues, they can recommend additional testing and treatment services straight away to ensure it is managed effectively.
Vaccines protect children against potentially serious childhood diseases and help to prevent the spread of illnesses to others. A pediatrician can ensure your child is fully up to date with their immunizations according to their age.
Along with helping in the prevention and early detection of significant health issues, a well-child check-up can be a great opportunity to raise concerns about your child, such as their development, behavior, and sleeping or eating habits. A pediatrician has extensive knowledge of children’s health, behavior, and development and is an ideal person to talk to if you are worried or have questions about their health. It is also good to share any successes or milestones that your child has had since their last visit. Make a list of topics, questions, or concerns you want to talk about with your child’s pediatrician before your appointment, so you don’t forget, as there can be a lot to take in at their annual checkup.
If you have any concerns or questions outside of the well-child check-up, don’t be afraid to call the pediatrician. They are there to help you and to help your child thrive and develop.
When Is a Well Child Check-Up Required?
Well-child check-ups are typically done on a yearly basis but depending on your child’s needs, they may be recommended more frequently. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends well-child check-ups at the following stages of development:
- Within 3-5 days of birth, with a follow-up appointment 2 weeks later
- At 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, and 18 months of age
- Two years
- Two and a half years
- Three years
After the age of three, it is recommended that children have yearly well-child check-ups until they reach the age of 21. However, if you have any concerns about your child’s physical or emotional health and development between scheduled visits, you should not hesitate to contact your child’s pediatrician.
Child Check-Ups in Ringgold County
A well-child check-up is an important way to stay on top of your child’s physical and emotional health care needs. At Mount Ayr Medical Clinic, we provide high-quality and compassionate care for your whole family. We offer a comprehensive range of healthcare services including primary care, pediatric care, routine check-ups and physicals, urgent sick-child visits, prenatal care, wound care, and much more.
To learn more about our pediatric services or to book a well-child check-up, call us at (641) 464-4470.