An essential part of child wellness is taking your child to the doctor for regular physicals. At these appointments, a pediatrician will conduct routine examinations to help ensure your child is growing and developing as they should. So, what will the doctor evaluate, and why are these exams important? We’ll get into it here!
How often should my child see a pediatrician?
How often your child should go to the doctor depends upon how old they are. You will see a pediatrician in the hospital when you have a baby. They can tell you about all of the recommended infant appointments – they should be seen every few months during the first year of life. This is because they are rapidly growing and regularly hitting milestones as they head toward their first birthday. After one, they need to go less frequently, but should still go a few times per year. Between the ages of 2 and 5, Child Protective Services recommend your child see the doctor every year. Once they turn five, they can go every one to two years until they’re 18.
What will happen at a physical?
What happens during your child’s physical depends upon their age. But there are a few common things to expect. First, the nurses will record key statistics like your child’s measurements – weight, height and head circumference. Then, they might ask you questions about your child’s health, like how they’re meeting developmental milestones around movement, language and coordination. They may also want to know about how your child is eating and sleeping. After that, the doctor will come in and examine your child’s eyes, ears, throat and reflexes. They will then see if you have any questions. This is your chance to talk with a health care provider about anything that might worry you or other questions related to your child’s health. Don’t be afraid to speak up; your doctor is a partner in your child’s health!
What should I do if I can’t afford to see a pediatrician?
Visiting the pediatrician can be expensive if you do not have insurance. And even if you do have insurance, the number of appointments your child has to have during their early years can become expensive quickly. The Wellness and Stress Clinic can provide wellness screenings for children at our Monday night clinic. These appointments are free and can help you keep your child’s health in check. Get started by calling us today.