The "Why" Behind Well Child Check Appointments
The “Why” Behind Well Child Checks:
Early detection of physical and mental health issues is critical for your child’s long-term wellness. That’s why well child checks are important during all stages of his or her growth and development. Well child checks are about prevention. The sooner we notice something the sooner we can address it.
One of the most important things you can do for your child’s overall well-being is to maintain a schedule of well child checks throughout his or her life, even when he or she is feeling fine and it seems there are no concerns. Starting with the newborn well child check through age 3 years old, your child is seen 13 times. Continuing to bring your child in for annual well child checks as he or she gets older is also important.
Why so many visits? It’s easier to check children’s development when they are healthy than when they are sick and a lot of changes occur quickly in growing children.
Well child checks are more than immunizations. They are an opportunity to review preventive care, growth and development, and topics of concern. They’re also critical to building a strong relationship with your pediatric provider.
One of the best ways to stay healthy is through preventive care. Habits formed in the first few years of a child’s life significantly impact his or her health as an adult.
- Well child checks focus on what you can do to prevent future disease or injury, or catch health problems before they become serious. Each year the previous year’s information is reviewed for any troubling trends.
- Topics of discussion include diet and nutrition, fitness, sleeping, and safety issues.
- Immunizations are given when indicated.
Growth and Development
Your child’s growth is an important sign of health. Your child is growing in mind and body and both are addressed.
- Weight and measurements are taken and reviewed to ensure a healthy growth trend.
- Nutrition status, as well as other factors necessary for development, are reviewed.
- Milestones are monitored.
- Academic readiness is evaluated.
- Emotional resilience and mental health are assessed.
Topics of Concern
Having an opportunity to discuss concerns or ask questions with your primary care provider (PCP) is an equally important part of well child checks.
- Topics of concern such as development, behavior, sleep, eating, socializing with others, and school concerns are discussed.
- Bring a list of your questions or concerns with you to each well child check.
An ongoing relationship between a family and PCP is a key condition of quality health care for children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Continuity of care is achieved by seeing your PCP for all well child checks. Your PCP learns more and more about your child with each and every visit.
- A relationship of trust is built over time.
In addition to all of the above, well child checks provide an opportunity for you and your PCP to teach your child to take responsibility for his or her health. Your PCP will educate you and your child on important health issues.
So what are you waiting for? Schedule your child’s well child check now. You can easily schedule online at www.portlandpediatric.com or call us at 503-227-0671 or 503-968-3480.