One Aspect of Prevention: Well-Child Visits

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Your child is one of the most important individuals in your life, so of course you wouldn’t do anything to put something so precious at risk. However, many parents don’t realize that neglecting to bring their child to the pediatrician for well visits can be dangerous. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a child’s first year is especially crucial for overall health. During the first year and beyond, these well-child visits are a way for your child’s doctor to monitor growth and development while watching for potential warning signs.

The typical well visit schedule involves visits when your child is the following ages:

• 3-5 days
• 1 month
• 2 months
• 4 months
• 6 months
• 9 months
• 12 months
• 15 months
• 18 months
• 24 months
• 30 months
• 3 years
• 4 years
• And every year thereafter

You’ll notice that the schedule gradually has your child visiting the doctor less frequently until you reach annual visits only. While it may seem like a lot of visits at first, each one is important.

What happens at these visits?

The purpose of these visits is to track your child’s developmental growth. Your doctor will monitor the physical, behavioral, and emotional development of your child as the months fly by. This will give you peace of mind and will also be the best way to determine early if your child could be facing behavioral or learning disabilities. It also allows any potential juvenile diseases to be found, diagnosed, and treated early.

These regular visits also allow your child to get scheduled vaccinations that are designed to prevent damaging illnesses such as polio, pertussis, and the measles. If you are already following your well visit schedule, you won’t need to worry about the vaccine schedule, too. Your child’s pediatrician will let you know when it’s time for the next round.

Finally, these well visits allow you a chance to ask your child’s pediatrician any questions you have, from feeding issues to sleep problems and toilet training obstacles. And of course, if something concerns you in between visits, you have the option of calling your child’s doctor or just writing down a question to ask the next time, if you have an appointment coming up soon.

Be sure to take your child to each scheduled well visit. Each one is important for the health of your baby – not just right now, but in the future as well.