Why is a Routine Check-Up Important for Your Child?
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The early years in a child’s life are the formative period. They’re crucial in establishing their life-long health and giving them a solid foundation for development. As such, it’s crucial to identify any potential issues that could inhibit their growth or compromise their health. The best way to achieve this is to ensure you schedule frequent child wellness visits to their doctor.
During the check-up visits, the healthcare provider will track how well your child is developing. Age-specific observations are especially crucial in identifying delayed milestones and taking the necessary steps to correct them if necessary.
What to Expect During a Routine Check-Up
Some parents assume that well-checkups isn’t crucial, but they are. Here is what doctors check when you bring your child.
A nurse will observe your child’s vital signs, including oxygen levels, temperature, and heart rate. These play a crucial role in establishing if your child is okay or not, even without other symptoms. The doctor can then diagnose other issues during the appointment.
Obesity and malnutrition are prevalent health issues in young children. The nurse will, therefore, weigh your child and take the height measurements. These are crucial figures in determining the body mass index (BMI) for a normal growth curve. You’ll be given a percentile analysis of your child’s height, head circumference, and weight compared to other children in their age.
Head to Toe Assessment
The next thing the nurse will do is conduct a physical and thorough examination of your child’s body parts. This includes checking the condition of the eyes, ears, heart, lungs, and skin. If there are any concerns, their doctor will address them by evaluating your child further.
Some issues your child may be screened for include:
- Blood pressure
- Lead screening
- Health education
For issues that require a specialist’s attention, your doctor will refer you to the right professional. For example, you’ll be referred to a child audiologist if there’s a problem with your child’s hearing.
One of the most important reasons to bring your child for a wellness check-up is to have them immunized. Immunizations are age-specific and their importance can’t be overemphasized.
Vaccines play a role in safeguarding your child’s health against childhood illnesses like measles, mumps, rotavirus, and polio. You may or may not want to make sure your child is up-to-date with their immunization schedule. Ensure that you also discuss any questions or fears about immunization with your child’s doctor.
Your child’s doctor will always let you know when you should bring the child for a check-up. However, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the following are schedules to consider for your child:
- 2-5 days after birth
- 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 months after birth
- 15, 18, and 24 months after birth
- 2 years
- 2 ½ years
- 3 years
Beyond this age, children should have a well-child checkup once each year until they’re 21 years old.
The health of your child is crucial, and it can only be monitored through regular wellness checkups. Ensure you take your child for assessment as scheduled by the healthcare provider. If your child has any hidden health issues affecting their development, they’ll be given the right care plan to boost their development.