It is easy to know when to take babies and toddlers to the doctor for well-child checkups. The schedule is pretty frequent early on. But after age five many parents do not see the need to go to the doctor unless their child is sick. If your children are generally healthy, they could easily go a year or more without visiting their pediatrician. Regular visits create strong, trustworthy relationships among pediatrician, parent and child. Children should develop a trusting relationship with their doctor so if they do ever have health problems or questions, they will feel they can talk to him or her.
When you come to a well-child visit make a list of topics you want to talk about with your child’s pediatrician such as development, behavior, sleep, eating or getting along with other family members. Bring your top three to five questions or concerns with you to talk with your pediatrician at the start of the visit. When scheduling your well visit please bring up these concerns to the receptionist so that she will schedule enough time for the doctor to address all your concerns.
Additionally listed below are some of the benefits of Well-Child visits:
- Make sure your child’s long-term health is good
- Detect major health problems early
- Look at overall growth and development
- Encourage positive habits such as exercise, healthy food, and safe habits
- Check for missed immunizations or boosters
- Screen for dental, vision, speech, and hearing problems
- Your pediatrician will ask if you or your child has any questions or any other concerns as well.
Bottom-line, it sets a healthy habit for their lives, and hopefully they will continue to schedule regular physicals as they become adults.