Of course, we all know to take our children to the doctor when they are sick with an ear infection or a cough or a rash. However, well -child visits are also extremely important.
A lot of first-time parents may not realize that they can ask about anything related to their child at their well-child visits and not just specifically medical issues. Pediatricians are used to discussing common behavior concerns such as sleeping, toilet training, discipline or learning problems. It is easier to focus on these kinds of issues when your child is not sick. It is often helpful to jot down a few questions prior to a well-child visit to help start a dialogue with your pediatrician.
Pediatricians also focus on preventive care during a well-child visit. They will monitor your child’s overall nutrition, growth and development, vision and hearing and make recommendations on any specific interventions that may be necessary. Sometimes they may pick up medical or developmental issues where early intervention can make a significant difference. Immunizations are a very big part of preventive care. Pediatricians also address safety and injury prevention during a well child visit.
In the first two years of life, well-child visits often revolve around the vaccination schedule, and as your child gets older annual visits are recommended.
At Meriter-UnityPoint Health, the recommended schedule of visits is as follows:
3 years and then annually through the teen years.