Five Reasons Why Well-Child Visits Are So Important
Parents of young children can sometimes feel like they spend most of their free time in the pediatrician’s office with a sick child.
While it may be tempting to skip scheduling another trip to the doctor when your child is well, it’s important to bring the kids in for their well-child visits.
Babies need as many as ten well-child visits with their primary care provider before they are two. Starting at age two, children need to have a well-child visit at least once per year until they turn 21.
These visits are critical in keeping kids of all ages healthy. They also ensure your child is growing and developing as expected.
Talking about developmental milestones may be the most common topic discussed at your child’s well-child visit, but there are many other important subjects. Below are five other areas that your child’s pediatrician will discuss with you at this important visit:
- Diet: Proper nutrition is key for growing children. Your doctor will ask about any food allergies, aversions and how to ensure picky eaters get the nutrients they need.
- Exercise: Kids need an hour of physical activity each day. Your pediatrician will offer suggestions on how to get less active kids moving more.
- Injury prevention: If your child is already active, your doctor can help mitigate injury risk. Many schools also require a sports physical before the season starts—be sure to ask if your well-visit counts for that, or if you need a separate appointment.
- Sleep habits: Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours on a regular basis to promote optimal health. Teenagers 13 to 18 years need slightly less sleep—8 to 10 hours per 24 hours. If your child isn’t getting enough sleep—or is sleeping too much—your doctor can help identify the cause.
- Immunizations: Vaccines save lives—which is why many schools and sports teams require that all participants be vaccinated according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC’s) recommended schedule. Age 0-6; Age 7-18 ; Age 19 and older
Your well-child visit is an important part of keeping your child healthy—and out of the pediatrician’s office as much as possible. Now it’s time to make sure you have your child’s next well-child visit scheduled.