The First 10 Years
Childhood is a time of rapid growth and change. Your child will have more pediatric well-child visits when they are younger and developing most quickly.
Each visit includes a complete physical examination. During this exam, we will check your child’s growth and development in order to spot and prevent problems.
The health care provider will record your child’s height, weight, and other important information. Hearing, vision, and other screening tests will be part of some visits.
Even if your child is healthy, well-child visits are important; it is a good time to focus on your child’s wellness. This means talking about what is being done well and how it can be improved. Preventative care is important in keeping children healthy.
Well-child visits are key times for communication. Expect to be given information about normal development, nutrition, sleep, safety, diseases that are “going around,” and other important topics such as what to expect as your child grows up.
Make the most of these visits by writing down important questions and concerns to bring with you.
Special attention is paid to whether your child is meeting normal developmental milestones. His or her height, weight, and head circumference are recorded on a growth chart, which the health care provider keeps with the child’s medical record. This can be a great start for a discussion about your child’s health.
You can ask us about the body mass index (BMI) curve, which is the most important tool for identifying and preventing obesity. We will also talk about other wellness topics such as family relationship issues, school, and access to community services.
There are several schedules for routine well-child visits. One schedule, recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is given below.
Preventative Health Care Schedule
A visit with a health care provider before your baby is born is important for first-time parents, those with high-risk pregnancies, and any other parent who wishes to discuss common issues such as feeding, circumcision, and general questions.
After the baby is born, the next visit should be 2-3 days after bringing the baby home (for breast-fed babies) or when the baby is 2-4 days old (for all babies who are released from a hospital before they are 2 days old).
After that, it is recommended that visits occur at the following stages (your provider may have you add or skip visits depending on your child’s health or your parenting experience):
In addition to these visits, call or visit a health care provider any time your baby or child seems ill, or whenever you are worried about your baby’s health or development.