After your baby was born, most parents are concerned about his/her health and often come to see pediatricians for routine health check-up during the first two years of life. Your baby will be examined for general well-being and tracked for growth and development milestones and gets required vaccines. Yet, when he/she gets older, parents seldom take their child to pediatricians for routine health check and often forget to get them vaccinated. Parents usually come to see pediatricians only when their child gets sick or has some health problems.
Therefore, many children are not tracked for growth and development and often miss quite a few vaccines, particularly booster ones, hence they are more likely to suffer from some vaccine-preventable illnesses.
Well-child visits offer some benefits:
• Prevention. Complete immunization helps prevent some serious infectious diseases. Make sure to bring your child’s immunization record during a well-child visit. Parents also can talk with pediatricians about nutrition and safety.
• Tracking growth and development. Tracking growth regularly helps discover risk for overweight, obesity or malnutrition. Parents can also ask pediatricians about their child’s developmental milestones, learning and social behaviors.
• Raising concerns. Make a list of some questions or topics you want to discuss with pediatricians about child’s health, such as behaviors, sleep, healthy eating, and ways to manage some common symptoms or how to give best care for some common illnesses.
• Good relationships with your child’s doctor. Good and trustworthy relationships between pediatrician and family will promote optimal physical, mental and social health for your child.
Well-child visit is not the same as routine health check in adults. During a health check in adults, doctors usually recommend some blood tests, imaging studies (X ray, ultrasound) and Pap’s smear in women. Well-child check-up does not require blood tests or other imaging studies, unless doctors notice some risks for any illness.