A well-child visit is an important part of your child’s overall health. They offer a number of benefits and are key to ensuring your child is healthy and developing well, both physically and emotionally. They help to identify any health concerns early on and ensure that your child’s vaccinations are fully up to date.
A well child visit is typically carried out by a pediatrician. Pediatricians are doctors who specialize in the unique health needs of children from newborn right through to early adulthood. Pediatricians provide a variety of services to meet your child’s healthcare needs, including:
- Diagnosing, treating, and managing a wide range of childhood conditions, illnesses, and injuries
- Providing routine health checks and physicals to identify and monitor physical, behavioral, and emotional health and development
- Regular screening tests, such as vision and hearing tests
- Preventative care, such as making sure your child’s immunizations are up-to-date to help protect them from infectious diseases
- Rapid in-house testing, such as blood, urine, and molecular testing
- Providing information and advice to children and their carers, such as advice around nutrition, behavioral issues, hormone changes, and sexual health
- Coordinating care with other healthcare specialists when required
What Does A Well Child Visit Involve?
Regular well child visits are recommended at various age-specific stages right through childhood, from newborn to age 21. They are a valuable tool to monitor and track your child’s physical, behavioral, and emotional health and development, and to help detect and manage any health concerns in their early stages to prevent problems in the future.
During a well child visit, your pediatrician will review your child’s medical history, including current medications, any surgeries or hospitalizations, and any previous or existing conditions, injuries, or health concerns. They will also provide a vaccine schedule to ensure your child is fully up to date with their vaccinations.
A well child visit allows your pediatrician to identify and help manage a range of issues, such as behavioral, developmental, and functional problems, mental health disorders, and social stresses. The visits also enable you to raise any questions or concerns you may have around their health, lifestyle, and wellbeing.
During a well child visit, your pediatrician will carry out a comprehensive physical exam. This includes taking a number of measurements, a head-to-toe examination, and allows the pediatrician to evaluate and track your child’s health, growth, and development. It also aims to identify any illnesses or medical conditions in their early stages to ensure relevant medical interventions can be put in place to optimize your child’s health.
The physical exam is a thorough but noninvasive inspection. It involves careful observation, palpation (feeling with the fingers), and auscultation (listening to sounds, typically with a stethoscope). The physical exam focuses on:
- Height and weight development
- Blood pressure and oxygen saturation levels
- Examining the ears, nose, and throat
- Checking joints
- Posture, flexibility, and strength assessment
Your pediatrician will examine your child’s chest and abdomen and will also listen to their heart and lungs to check for any abnormalities, such as an irregular heartbeat or a build-up of fluid. They may also complete vision and hearing tests and evaluate your child’s speech, fine motor, and gross motor skills.
Your pediatrician can also address questions or concerns you may have about your child, such as their growth or physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development.
How Frequently Should My Child Have A Well Child Visit?
Well child visits and physical exams are recommended at regular intervals throughout infancy, childhood, and adolescence. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends routine examinations at the following ages:
- Newborn, with another visit within 3-5 days of birth, and a follow up appointment 2 weeks later
- 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18 months
- Two years
- Two and a half years
- 3 years
After the age of 3, your child should have routine yearly examinations until they reach the age of 21. Some children may require well child visits more regularly, depending on their needs and circumstances. You should also contact your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your child’s physical or psychological health and development between scheduled visits.
Additional well child visits and physical examinations may be necessary prior to starting a new school or before your child can participate in certain school activities, such as sports. Many schools also require your child to be up-to-date with their vaccination schedule before the start of school.
Well Child Visits in Tuckahoe, New York
Regular well child visits are important for your child’s overall health, development, and wellbeing. The physicians and staff at Village Pediatric Group provide comprehensive quality healthcare services for pediatric patients ages newborn to 21 years of age.