A child’s yearly physical exam is a great way for families and healthcare providers to track how a child is developing, reveal current or possible future health issues, and update any needed vaccines and medications necessary for continuing wellness.
It’s just one of the ways that your child’s pediatrician partners with you to ensure the health of your child – from babyhood on.
At Westchester Park Pediatrics in Purchase, New York, we’ve created the following checklist for you to review before you and your youngster come to our office for this important annual assessment.
Make a List of Your Questions and Concerns
Before your child’s visit for an annual physical, compile a list of questions you may have for your pediatrician. You may be wondering about your youngster’s vision or whether his moods are normal for his age. Are you concerned about how your child is faring in school, or do you want to discuss changes in your young teen’s eating habits? Now’s the time.
Remember that your pediatrician is your primary and best resource for information on acute and chronic disease conditions, what is considered normal growth and development, referrals for special needs, and more. The annual wellness exam provides the foundation for your child’s preventive healthcare needs.
Update Your Pediatrician With Any Changes in Your Child’s Health, School, or Home Situation
This is particularly important if your child is new to our pediatric practice. Bring a list of current medications (asthma or allergy medications, for example); past medical tests, surgeries, or procedures; and their vaccine record.
If your child is a current patient, update the doctor on changes in your child’s eating or sleeping habits, school performance, or physical issues, such as frequent skin rashes, joint pain, or anything else that is new since his or her last wellness visit.
Bring Documentation You Need to be Signed
New York State requires an annual physical examination before a child begins the school year or before starting daycare. Please bring the necessary forms for your pediatrician to complete. Also, if this is a sports physical, please bring the relevant pre-participation forms.
Prepare Your Child for the Physical Examination
Try to remember when you were a child or adolescent. Doctor’s visits can seem scary to young children, or maybe intimidating and embarrassing to teens. So, prepare your child for the annual wellness check-up by telling him or her what to expect.
Reassure a young child with simple explanations about how the doctor will examine their eyes, ears, throat, chest, abdomen, skin, reflexes, and so on. Be sure to have a positive attitude and avoid words such as “hurt” or “scary.”
Tell your youngster that the visit will confirm how much they have grown since the last visit. Also, a treat or small toy afterward can be something to look forward to.
For older children and teens, tell them what the pediatrician will want to discuss: school, friends, healthy eating, exercise, and more. Explain that there will be the usual head-to-toe assessment and update of vaccines if necessary. As with young children, simple, age-appropriate explanations are best.
Pediatric Medicine Specialists in Purchase, NY
At Westchester Park Pediatrics, our professional team is led by six board-certified pediatricians who can attest that raising healthy children is a big job! So, our pediatricians and staff work tirelessly to help parents and kids understand what constitutes good health and to help kids develop healthy habits when they’re young, which will contribute to their healthy growth, development, and overall well-being for years to come.