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How Often Does My Child Need a Wellness Visit?
When is the last time your child had a Wellness Visit at the doctor’s office? If you cannot remember, it may be well past time to schedule an appointment. These checkups are critical to your child’s overall health and well-being.
Purpose of the wellness visit
Some people may think of a doctor’s appointment as an occasion when someone is sick or hurt. While these are valid reasons to visit the physician’s office, proactive appointments are important too. Regular checkups help the doctor to evaluate the child’s health and development. During the visits, the doctor may see a concern that otherwise would not have come to light. The doctor may make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment before the condition escalates. A wellness checkup keeps the child up to date with vaccinations and also helps keep parents aware of any physical, mental or emotional concerns.
Starting at age 5, children should have a wellness visit at the pediatrician’s or family doctor’s office once a year up until age 18. Doctors may want more frequent visits from children with certain health conditions such as diabetes, cognitive difficulties or genetic disorders. From birth to age 5, parents should take children to the doctor’s office more often. For example, during the first year of life, doctors recommend checkups every two to three months.
What to expect
At the wellness visit, the doctor and other medical staff members will take the child’s vital signs. The doctor will also measure height and weight to see the progress the child has made. The doctor will conduct a physical, examining the child’s eyes, ears, mouth, nose, reflexes and internal organs. These visits are also a chance for the parent to discuss any behavioral or developmental problems the child is having.
The risk of waiting
Some people may wonder why such annual appointments are necessary, especially if the child looks healthy. A wellness visit will give the doctor a more in-depth look at the child’s health. Things that are not obvious to the mom and dad may become apparent to the doctor. Parents who neglect these visits may discover their child has serious health conditions down the road.
Care in between
Parents do not have to wait a full year to take children to the doctor’s office. Anytime the child is sick or suffers an injury, the primary care physician or pediatrician can help. Parents should take children to see the doctor for issues such as the flu, sore throat, stomach pains, vomiting, fever, earache and other common sicknesses.
Do not miss out
Make sure you schedule a wellness visit for your child at least once a year. Babies and toddlers will need even more attention. As a parent, you want your child to enjoy good health and be able to enjoy life without pain or discomfort. These appointments will help the child maintain a strong body and a healthy mind. As your child grows and matures, there will be different needs and challenges. These visits will help meet your child’s needs.
Get more information about Woodforest Pediatric & Family Clinic in Houston at https://www.woodforestmd.com.
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