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How Often Should You Have a Well Child Exam?

You might be wondering how often your child needs a wellness check-up. This usually depends on the age of the child, but it’s a good idea to talk to your child’s pediatrician about this. If your child has an underlying health condition, they may require more wellness check-ups.

Infants and toddlers need more frequent check-ups than older children. This is because children develop quickly during their first two to three years of life. You’ll notice so many changes from the time that your child is a newborn to the time that they are a rambunctious three-year-old! 

During a baby’s first year, they should see the doctor at two weeks, two months, four months, six months, nine months, and one year. 

After that, they’ll need to visit the doctor at fifteen months, eighteen months, two years, two and a half years, and then three years.

After this point, you can start scheduling annual appointments as long as your child is in good health and they’re meeting all of their developmental milestones. 

What Happens During Well Child Exams? 

So what can you anticipate from your child’s wellness check? 

Wellness checks are fairly straightforward. They’re similar to your own yearly check-ups, but pediatricians also pay attention to your child’s development and look for any potential illnesses or conditions that may pop up in early childhood.

The check-ups will look different depending on how old your child is. Infant check-ups are more intensive than check-ups for older children. 

The doctor will perform a physical exam. They’ll measure your child’s height and weight and talk to you about whether or not it’s healthy for their age. They may also do a vision and hearing screening.

If your child is due for immunizations, the doctor may give them one or several immunizations based on their age. Your child will likely need these immunizations when they start going to school. 

The pediatrician will talk to you about your child’s physical and emotional health. They may also discuss your child’s diet and your child’s development. If your child needs any help, they may refer you to the appropriate specialist. 

Why Are Check-Ups for Children Important? 

Healthy adults only need to see a doctor once per year, and it’s not uncommon to skip yearly check-ups if nothing is wrong. In that case, why are check-ups for kids so important? 

If you want to take proper care of your child, you need to be taking them to routine doctor’s visits. Here are a few reasons why. 

Your Child Will Stay Up-to-Date With Vaccines

Vaccines are essential for child’s health and development. They protect your children from things like tetanus, pertussis chickenpox, and polio (among many others). These conditions can be deadly for small children, and while it’s uncommon to see them in 2022, there are still carriers.

Even something that would be a minor illness in adults could require your child to be hospitalized.

When you visit your child’s pediatrician at least once per year, you’ll know that your child is given the best chance to be healthy and succeed in life. 

It will seem like your child is getting too many vaccines as a baby, but keep in mind that those vaccines will protect them for a lifetime. 

You’ll Know If Your Child Is On-Track

It can be difficult for parents, especially first-time parents, to track their children’s development. Children have to meet specific developmental milestones to be considered on track, and while there are some variations in how long it should take to reach those milestones, a doctor can tell you if your child is keeping up with other children their own age.

Your child’s height and weight will be measured against other children’s. Your doctor will talk to you about your child’s speech and movement and if they’re having any trouble in school that could indicate slow development.

If there are developmental delays, you can start early intervention to give your child the best chance of getting up to speed. 

You Can Catch Health Problems Early

Speaking of early intervention, going to routine doctor visits for your child will also allow you to catch significant health problems early on. 

Some problems are difficult to spot without medical expertise. The physical exam that might look simple to you is actually how the doctor can spot certain issues, such as unexplained muscle weakness, heart murmurs, and more. 

You’ll Learn How to Care for Your Growing Child’s Health

A good pediatrician will give you advice on how to take care of your child’s health between appointments. New parents can use all of the help that they can get!

They’ll give you advice about your child’s diet, their activity levels, managing their stress levels, spotting mental health concerns, and more. Make sure to ask plenty of questions during routine appointments. 

When your child is old enough, the doctor can even talk to them about their health one-on-one. 

You’ll Teach Your Child the Importance of Good Health

By getting your child used to visiting the doctor, you’ll set them up for a future of good physical health. You’re showing them the importance of healthcare, and that’s something that will follow them forever. 

Bonus: your child won’t be afraid of visiting the doctor when you’ve been keeping up with visits. 

Never Skip Your Child’s Check-ups

A routine well child exam is crucial for children. The pediatrician will ensure that your child is exactly where they need to be both developmentally and health-wise. Your child deserves a healthy and happy life, so let a doctor help.

At Quick MD Care, our expert pediatrician is ready to help you and your child. Contact us with questions or set up an appointment today.

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