There are a number of good reasons the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended regular well-child visits. Among its other benefits, a well-child visit helps your pediatrician monitor your child’s physical, behavioral, and emotional health and take the necessary steps to effectively prevent, detect, and manage any health problems.
During a well-child visit, your pediatrician will review your child’s medical history as well as existing conditions, injuries, and other health concerns. Your doctor will then check whether your child is up to date with their vaccinations. Your pediatrician will also carry out a thorough physical exam to evaluate the overall health of your child.
Whether you are planning to have a child, halfway through your pregnancy, or waddling through your final weeks and preparing for the “big day,” the information we’ve provided below can give you an idea of what to expect during child physical exams.
Child Physical Exams: What’s Involved?
A physical exam, which is a head-to-toe assessment, involves three parts: observation, palpation (feeling with the fingers), and auscultation (listening to body sounds with a stethoscope).
The following are some of the elements of a child physical exam:
- Checking your child’s vital signs
- Recording your child’s height, weight, and head circumference and calculating their BMI
- Ophthalmic exam
- Assessment of your child’s posture, flexibility, and strength
- Hearing evaluation
The pediatrician will also check your child for any abnormalities – such as an irregular heartbeat, any unusual masses, or fluid buildup in the ears. At some well-child visits, your child may be screened for anemia and other medical conditions.
How Often Will My Child Need a Physical Exam?
Physical exams are recommended throughout infancy, childhood, and adolescence. The frequency of visits may vary depending on your child’s unique circumstances and overall health, but on average, your child should have routine examinations at:
- 3-5 days after birth and a follow-up appointment 2 weeks after
- 1 month
- 2 months
- Four months
- Six months
- Nine months
- 12 months
- 18 months
- Two years
- Two and a half years
- Three years
Thereafter, children should have yearly examinations until they reach the age of 21. If you have any concerns about your child’s physical or psychological health and development in between your scheduled visits, make sure to contact your pediatrician.
Aside from routine well-child visits, other types of physical exams may be necessary. In the state of New York, for instance, parents are required to have their children get a school physical prior to starting a new academic year and then each year going forward. School physicals help to ensure that your child is in good overall health, that it is safe for them to take part in extracurricular activities, and that they are up to date with their vaccinations.
Child Physical Exams in Tuckahoe, New York
At Village Pediatric Group, our board-certified pediatricians are dedicated to improving the lives of the children they are privileged to serve by providing top-notch care in a nurturing, child-friendly environment. As strong proponents of preventative care, our providers highly encourage parents to follow the AAP guidelines for well-child visits as well as share useful information to empower them to make the best health decisions for their children.
To schedule a well-child visit, or to learn more about our services, call us today at (914) 771-7070. You may also request an appointment right here on our website.