Annual pediatric visit: Why is it important for parent and child?
Of course you take your children to the pediatrician when they are sick. But you shouldn't overlook the importance of a pediatric visit every year (or more often for babies and toddlers) when they are well. There are some great benefits to keeping up with pediatric wellness visits.
You'll build a relationship with your pediatrician
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics wellness visits foster a "team" approach between parents and pediatricians. Rather than only checking in when there is an illness you'll get a chance to touch base with your pediatrician in a more relaxed way. These routine checkups are the best time for scheduled immunizations and to talk about safety nutrition sleep and how to prevent common childhood diseases. You can also discuss what to expect as your child grows. Seeing your child when he or she is well allows your pediatrician to establish a baseline from which to better detect any concerning changes.
You can keep tabs on your child's development progress and growth
Childhood is a time when change and rapid growth are normal. Checking in with your pediatrician helps him or her determine or prevent any developmental problems. At the pediatric visit your pediatrician will measure and weigh your child and check his or her vitals. You can discuss your child's developmental milestones learning and behavior.
When should you take your child to wellness visits?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends pediatric wellness visits before birth if you're a first-time parent you have a high-risk pregnancy or if you have questions about feeding circumcision and/or general child health issues. After that there are frequent visits in the first year: at 2 to 5 days old then at 1 2 4 6 9 12 15 and 18 months of age. For toddlers the AAP recommends visits at 2 2.5 and 3 years of age. Thereafter you can take your child for yearly wellness visits until age 18.
What can you expect at your child's pediatric wellness visit?
Knowing what to expect can help you and your child prepare for a successful and positive wellness visit. According to MedlinePlus the wellness visit includes a physical exam immunization information nutrition advice and an evaluation of growth and development.
Keeping up with pediatric wellness visits on the recommended schedule can help keep your child safe and healthy and reassure you that his or her development is on track.
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