Part of what’s delineated in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ comprehensive health guidelines for well-child care is that parents take their children for a yearly checkup after age 3 all the way until age 21.
Your child’s annual check-up isn’t going to be a lot different from their previous ones. It will still include measurements, sensory screening, physical exam, and certain procedures like immunization. Nonetheless, like any loving parent desiring to get involved in their child’s health care, you want to know the right questions to ask your pediatrician during your child’s annual checkup. This helps ensure you come out of the office equipped with useful information, which can empower you to make the wisest decisions about your child’s health and medical care.
Below are 6 questions you may find worth asking your pediatrician the next time you see them for your youngster’s routine checkup.
Q1: Is My Child’s Growth Appropriate for Their Age?
As with your previous visits, your pediatrician will carry out a head-to-toe examination, which includes taking height, weight, and head circumference (for babies) as well as BMI measurements, to ensure your child is following their growth curve. If your pediatrician notices a dramatic change or anything concerning about your child’s growth, they will discuss with you the steps necessary to get to the bottom of the problem and address it.
Q2: What Should My Child Eat and Not Eat?
It goes without saying that nutrition plays a crucial role in your child’s growth and development, so it’s also imperative that you seek expert advice from your pediatrician as to what you should and shouldn’t feed your child. You want your child to build healthy habits as early as possible, as it’s going to be a lot harder for you to instill these in your child later on.
Aside from knowing which foods your child should and shouldn’t eat, make sure to also let your doctor know about any supplements your child is taking. Gummy vitamins, in particular, are notorious for causing cavities. If your child is taking these, ask your doctor for any healthier alternatives.
Q3: What Immunizations Does My Child Require for this Year and the Next?
It’s important that you ensure your child not only gets their vaccinations, but also receives them on schedule. Your pediatrician should explain which vaccines your child needs for their specific age and what they protect your child against.
Your child should receive the yearly flu shot during the appointment as well. Make sure to also ask which shots your child needs to get during their next visit.
Q4: Any Child Safety Tips You Can Share?
Your pediatrician is your best resource when it comes to advice around child safety. For younger children, your doctor can give you recommendations as to which car seat your child should be using, how to child-proof your home, how to protect your child’s skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, etc.
Q5: How Much Sleep Should My Child Get?
Like nutrition, sleep is crucial for your child’s growth and development. The AAP recommends that school-age children (6 to 12 years of age) get 9 to 12 hours of sleep in every 24-hour period. Bring it up with your doctor if you think you need their help with improving your child’s sleep hygiene.
Q6: I Am Worried About My Child’s Mental Health. What Should I Do?
Among many other benefits, good mental health allows your child to think and process things clearly, build social skills, and develop resilience to cope better in the face of hardships.
If you are concerned that your child is showing signs of depression or anxiety, or if they are having problems in school or with making friends, speak to your pediatrician for advice. The earlier a mental health issue is identified, the sooner appropriate support can be put in place.
Child Annual Checkups in Purchase, NY
At Westchester Park Pediatrics, our board-certified pediatricians offer comprehensive healthcare services— including well-child visits, vaccinations, mental health services, and hearing and vision care— to meet your child’s basic and specialized medical needs.
Nonetheless, our commitment doesn’t stop at providing medical care: we work alongside families to equip them with the resources and knowledge necessary for laying a strong foundation for a healthy and happy life for their children. Choosing us to be your healthcare partner means you’re teaming up with highly knowledgeable and nurturing physicians who are profoundly invested in your child’s health and well-being.