The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has strongly encouraged parents to take their children for routine checkups—and for a number of good reasons. Among these is that regular well-child visits enable a pediatrician to keep tabs on a child’s physical, emotional, and behavioral health as well as determine and take the necessary steps to effectively prevent, detect, and nip potential health problems in the bud.
If you’re a first-time parent, chances are you’re wondering how often your child needs to see their pediatrician for a checkup and what to expect during each appointment. The AAP recommends that children visit their pediatricians for routine examinations at:
- 3 to 5 days after birth; and 2 weeks after for a follow-up appointment
- 1 month
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 12 months
- 18 months
- 2 years
- 2 1/2 years
- 3 years
If your child has turned 3, they will need to see their pediatrician yearly until they reach 21. It is important to take note that while an annual well-child visit isn’t a lot different from the ones your child previously had, it is equally crucial for maintaining your youngster’s health. Your child’s annual checkup consists of the following elements:
A physical examination is a head-to-toe assessment that comprises three major parts: observation, palpation (feeling with the fingers), and auscultation (using a stethoscope to listen to body sounds).
The following are some of the subcomponents of your child’s physical exams
- Taking your child’s vital signs
- Recording your child’s growth parameters: height, weight, head circumference, and BMI
- Assessing your child’s visual and hearing acuity
- Checking your child’s reflexes
- Feeling their lymph nodes
If your pediatrician identifies signs of potential health problems, they will make the appropriate recommendations to promptly address them. Depending on your child’s health history and your family history, your pediatrician may also recommend screening your child for certain conditions, such as anemia and diabetes.
Dubbed by healthcare experts “modern medicine’s greatest lifesavers,” vaccines provide your child with protection against potentially life-threatening but preventable communicable diseases—another compelling reason you can’t afford to skip your child’s yearly checkup.
During your appointment, your pediatrician will ensure your child is up to date with all their necessary immunizations and let you know which shots your child needs to get during their next visit.
Discussion with Your Pediatrician
Another reason why yearly checkups are important is that they provide parents with the opportunity to get their concerns and questions about their child’s health and medical care addressed.
Prior to your child’s appointment, make sure to note down all the questions and other things you want to discuss with your pediatrician, as there can be a lot to take in at the annual checkup.
Pediatric Health Care in Purchase, NY
If you’re looking for a reputable pediatric practice within the Purchase area in New York, visit us here at Westchester Park Pediatrics. We offer a vast array of services—including well-child visits, mental health services, and vision and hearing screenings—all aimed at promoting your child’s optimal health and well-being.
What’s more, our board-certified pediatricians go above and beyond providing top-notch medical care: they consider it a privilege to equip parents, like you, with the support and resources they need to make the most educated decisions about their children’s health and care.