Well Child Check
Most parents only go to the pediatrician’s office when their child is sick. But in reality, doctor visits don’t always have to occur to solve a problem, sometimes they’re necessary to prevent the health problem from happening in the first place.
Since childhood is a time of rapid growth, it’s necessary for a pediatrician to closely monitor the child’s health, thus ensuring that there are no problems or developmental delays. This is achieved with the help of well-child visits.
If you’re a parent interested in giving your child the best care and in ensuring that they are and remain perfectly healthy, the physicians of Pediatrics of Sugarland are here to help. Contact us today to book your appointment!
Well Child Visits Q&A
What are well-child visits?
Well-child visits are medical examinations conducted by a pediatrician to ensure that the child is healthy and is growing and developing normally.
Well-child visits also help to detect some conditions early, with the help of various screening tools, which will possibly improve the prognosis and outcome of the condition. Similarly, well-child visits can help prevent other conditions completely, by staging early interventions in case of any risk factors.
All parents and children can benefit from well-child visits, but they are particularly helpful in certain risky situations, such as with first time parents who may require extra guidance or support, as well as in case of pregnancy or delivery complications, or if the child or mother are suffering from any chronic diseases.
How many well-child visits are there?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following schedule:
– A first visit is necessary for newborns during the first week of life, ideally 2 to 3 days after coming home from the hospital.
– During the first year, several well-child visits should take place, when the child is respectively: 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 months old.
– During the second and third years, well-child visits should take place when the child is respectively: 15, 18, 24, and 30 months old.
– From the ages of 3 to 21 years old, one well-child visit is advised yearly.
What to expect during a well-child visit?
One of the main objectives of a well-child visit is for the pediatrician to answer any questions that the parents may have. As a result, don’t shy away from writing down all your thoughts and questions, your pediatrician will be more than happy to explain things during your next well-child visit.
On top of answering questions, the pediatrician will need to gather information about the medical history of the child, the pregnancy and delivery, as well as the medical history of the parents and family.
A physical examination is always necessary to record important measures such as the child’s height, weight, and head circumference, and ensure that the child is developing normally and according to standard growth charts.
During a well-child visit, the doctor will also examine most bodily functions and systems, to rule out any diseases. Various screening tests may also be ordered.
What conditions can well-child visits detect early?
Well-child visits can help detect various conditions:
– Newborns: well-child visits are especially important for newborns because they will help detect congenital heart defects, hearing impairments, as well as a variety of genetic or metabolic disorders.
– Screenings: during well-child visits, screenings for conditions like autism and amblyopia will be conducted.
– Growth charts: well-child visits will help monitor the child’s growth chart and will help detect any abnormal growth or developmental delay early on.
– Metabolic complications: well-child visits will help to monitor the child’s nutrition and lifestyle habits, keeping an eye out for metabolic complications such as obesity, hypertension, or hyperlipidemia.
– Development milestones: well-child visits are an opportunity to ensure that the child is developing according to standard milestones and that there are no developmental delays which may be a sign of neurological problems.
– Maternal depression: certainly not a pediatric condition, but maternal depression is a prevalent disease that sadly frequently goes undiagnosed. Since the child’s health is greatly influenced by their mother’s, keeping an eye out for maternal depression is essential during a well-child visit.
What conditions can well-child visits prevent?
Well-child visits can help prevent various conditions and health problems:
– Sleep-related: ensuring that the child sleeps well and safely is necessary for the development and maturation of different organs.
– Nutrition-related: well-child visits are a great opportunity for nutrition and breastfeeding advice, but to also ensure that the child doesn’t suffer from any nutritional deficiencies.
– Dental care: during a well-child visit, the pediatrician will ask the parents and child (if they’re old enough) about their dental hygiene habits, and will give them the necessary advice for healthy, strong, and cavity-free teeth.
– Screen time: During a well-child visit, the pediatrician will ask about your child’s screen time habits. Minimizing screen time for preschool-age children is necessary for their neurological, emotional, and social development.
– Safe environment: well-child visits are an opportunity to ensure that the child lives in an environment where they are not only physically safe but also emotionally and psychologically.
– Immunizations schedule: last but not least, one of the best ways to prevent disease is to fully vaccinate children. Well-child visits are an opportunity to make sure that the child’s immunization records are up to date, and to order any missing shots.