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Well Child Check-Up

Childhood is a time of rapid growth and change. Children have more well-child visits when they are younger. This is because development is faster during these years.

Each visit includes a complete physical exam. At this exam, the health care provider will check the child's growth and development in order to find or prevent problems. The provider will record your child's height, weight, and other important information. Vision and other screening tests will be part of some visits.

Even if your child is healthy, well-child visits are a good time to focus on your child's wellness. Talking about ways to improve care and prevent problems helps keep your child healthy.

The Benefits of Well-Child Visits

  • Prevention. Your child gets scheduled immunizations to prevent illness. You also can ask your pediatrician about nutrition and safety in the home and at school.
  • Tracking growth and development. See how much your child has grown in the time since your last visit, and talk with your doctor about your child's development. You can discuss your child's milestones, social behaviors and learning.
  • Raising concerns. Make a list of topics you want to talk about with your child's pediatrician such as development, behavior, sleep, eating or getting along with other family members. Bring your top three to five questions or concerns with you to talk with your pediatrician at the start of the visit.
  • Team approach. Regular visits create strong, trustworthy relationships among pediatrician, parent and child. The AAP recommends well-child visits as a way for pediatricians and parents to serve the needs of children. This team approach helps develop optimal physical, mental and social health of a child. (Source: healthychildren.org) 

For the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended schedule for well child visit care click here. Elements of the physical exam:

  • Auscultation (listening to heart, breath, and stomach sounds)
  • Heart sounds
  • Immunizations
  • Infantile reflexes and deep tendon reflexes as the child gets older
  • Neonatal jaundice -- first few visits only
  • Palpation
  • Percussion
  • Standard ophthalmic exam
  • Temperature measurement (click here for normal body temperature)

Nutrition advice:

  • Appropriate diet for age - balanced diet
  • Breast feeding
  • Diet and intellectual development
  • Fluoride in diet
  • Infant formulas
  • Obesity in children

Growth and development:

  • Infant - newborn development
  • Toddler development
  • Preschooler development
  • School-age child development
  • Adolescent development
  • Developmental milestones (click here for growth and development schedules)

Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine)