What is a wellness visit?
While you should bring your child into the doctor’s office when they are sick, this isn’t the only time that they should be visiting a pediatrician. Regular wellness visits allow your child’s doctor to continue to monitor their health and development throughout their childhood and teen years. A wellness or well-child visit typically involves:
- Recording your child’s height and weight
- Providing a detailed medical history of your child
- Checking vital signs
- Hearing and vision screenings (depending on the age)
- A full physical examination (painless and non-invasive)
- Additional testing or blood work, if necessary
- Vaccinations, as needed
- Answer any questions that the parent may have about their child’s health and provide information and advice on ways to keep your child healthy
Furthermore, children will need to go through a series of vaccines during the first few years of life. Vaccines are one of the best ways to protect your child from serious and potentially life-threatening diseases such as polio. By keeping up with your child’s wellness and vaccine schedule you ensure that you are providing your child with everything that they need to stay healthy.
Why are wellness visits so important?
As you can probably assume already, these checkups are the best way to prevent health problems from happening in the first place (which we can all agree is so much better than just treating the problem once it comes along). Other benefits of wellness visits include:
- Providing parents with support, peace of mind, and advice regarding everything from sleep schedules and diet to medications and behavioral concerns.
- Catch problems early on, whether physical, mental or behavioral, when they can easily be managed and treated through simpler and less invasive treatment options
- Having a doctor that becomes an important part of your family; someone you can trust and rely on to always be there for your child. After all, knowing that you have a doctor that you can turn to in an emergency is invaluable.
Is This Normal Behavior?
- Being defiant
- Issues around bedtime
- Issues around food (being a “picky eater” or refusing to eat)
- Temper tantrums
- Are still occurring regardless of discipline or punishment
- Are affecting their schoolwork and/or social interactions
- Aren’t appropriate for their age (e.g. throwing temper tantrums as an older child)
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Harm to self, others, or animals
- Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there
- Breaking the rules or skipping school
- Sudden or extreme behavioral changes
- Showing no remorse
Pediatricians come equipped to handle and address any issues regarding your child’s health, and this includes behavioral concerns you may have as a parent. If your pediatrician believes that a developmental, neurological, or mental health disorder could be to blame, then they may recommend additional testing and evaluations. This is done either through their practice or with a specific specialist who can properly diagnose and treat certain conditions such as depression, oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD, or autism spectrum disorder.
Based on the results of your child’s screening, your pediatrician will then be able to create a custom treatment plan to help you and your child manage their condition and their symptoms. Your pediatrician can also refer your child to therapists and other specialists who can also provide additional support and treatment for the whole family.
If you’re having concerns about your child’s behavior, it’s best to talk with your pediatrician at your child’s next wellness checkup.
Getting Regular Check-ups
These check-ups are also important for parents, as it gives them a chance to ask questions they may have about their child’s sleeping and eating habits, or other behaviors their child may be displaying. During your child’s regular pediatric checkups, your doctor will check your child’s height, weight, vision, and hearing. These visits begin within the first five days after birth and will continue at:
- 1 month old
- 2 months old
- 4 months old
- 6 months old
- 9 months old
- 12 months old
- 15 months old
- 18 months old
- 24 months old
- 30 months old
- 3 years old
Looking for a pediatrician? Need to schedule your child’s next check-ups? Our pediatric team is here to address any questions and concerns you may have. From immunizations to sports injuries, we handle it all.
A pediatrician is an integral part of keeping your child healthy and safe while participating in sports. They can answer your questions and address any concerns you may have, as well as recommend certain conditioning and training exercises that can help with injury prevention. Your child should also be wearing the appropriate protective gear including a helmet when playing sports.
Your child should visit a pediatrician right away if you suspect that they have a broken bone, dislocation, concussion, or if they are dealing with severe pain or swelling. If your child is unable to walk or put weight on the affected leg, this is also a sign to see a pediatrician as soon as possible. The sooner sports injuries are addressed and properly treated the better.
So, your child’s teeth just started to come in. We know that this can be an exciting milestone for parents. Of course, this also means considering your child’s oral health. Just as you brush and floss your teeth every day, you will now need to begin brushing your child’s teeth. While the techniques and practices will be a bit different and probably less time-consuming (seeing as your child probably only has one or two teeth at the moment), here are some tips for how to brush your child’s teeth properly,
- Even before your child’s teeth start to erupt it’s important to keep their gums healthy and clean by wiping them with a soft, damp cloth after each feeding and right before bedtime. Your child will get their first tooth between 6-14 months.
- Yes, even children’s teeth can develop decay. As soon as the tooth is formed it can develop decay, so it’s important that you start brushing it as soon as you see it.
- Purchase a child-sized toothbrush from your local drugstore and wet the soft-bristled toothbrush with water to brush your child’s tooth or teeth (at this point you don’t need toothpaste).
- Your child won’t start needing toothpaste until they are 2 years old. From 2-3 years old your child only needs toothpaste the size of a grain of rice in order to clean their teeth. After 3 years old, you can upgrade to a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
- Just as you do for your own teeth, you should also brush your child’s teeth twice a day (once in the morning and again at night right before going to bed).
- Use soft, circular motions when brushing the teeth and the gums. Again, just as you do your own teeth, you should brush for a minimum of two minutes. Don’t forget to brush their tongue and roof of their mouth, too.
- We know that your child may not fully understand the brushing process, so it’s a good idea to tell them what you are doing and the importance of brushing their teeth. Even though they can’t brush their own teeth yet it’s still great to show them how to brush so that when it’s time to start brushing their own teeth they understand how to do it.
- Most children can start brushing their teeth around 7-8 years old, but still need to be supervised by an adult until around 10-11 years old.
Have questions about caring for your baby’s developing smile? Keeping your child’s smile healthy is so important for their development and practicing good oral hygiene at home will ensure that your child’s smile stays healthy.
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