What is a wellness visit?
While you should bring your child into the doctor’s office when they are sick, this isn’t the only time that they should be visiting a pediatrician. Regular wellness visits allow your child’s doctor to continue to monitor their health and development throughout their childhood and teen years. A wellness or well-child visit typically involves:
- Recording your child’s height and weight
- Providing a detailed medical history of your child
- Checking vital signs
- Hearing and vision screenings (depending on the age)
- A full physical examination (painless and non-invasive)
- Additional testing or blood work, if necessary
- Vaccinations, as needed
- Answer any questions that the parent may have about their child’s health and provide information and advice on ways to keep your child healthy
Furthermore, children will need to go through a series of vaccines during the first few years of life. Vaccines are one of the best ways to protect your child from serious and potentially life-threatening diseases such as polio. By keeping up with your child’s wellness and vaccine schedule you ensure that you are providing your child with everything that they need to stay healthy.
Why are wellness visits so important?
As you can probably assume already, these checkups are the best way to prevent health problems from happening in the first place (which we can all agree is so much better than just treating the problem once it comes along). Other benefits of wellness visits include:
- Providing parents with support, peace of mind, and advice regarding everything from sleep schedules and diet to medications and behavioral concerns.
- Catch problems early on, whether physical, mental or behavioral, when they can easily be managed and treated through simpler and less invasive treatment options
- Having a doctor that becomes an important part of your family; someone you can trust and rely on to always be there for your child. After all, knowing that you have a doctor that you can turn to in an emergency is invaluable.
Is This Normal Behavior?
- Being defiant
- Issues around bedtime
- Issues around food (being a “picky eater” or refusing to eat)
- Temper tantrums
- Are still occurring regardless of discipline or punishment
- Are affecting their schoolwork and/or social interactions
- Aren’t appropriate for their age (e.g. throwing temper tantrums as an older child)
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Harm to self, others, or animals
- Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there
- Breaking the rules or skipping school
- Sudden or extreme behavioral changes
- Showing no remorse
Pediatricians come equipped to handle and address any issues regarding your child’s health, and this includes behavioral concerns you may have as a parent. If your pediatrician believes that a developmental, neurological, or mental health disorder could be to blame, then they may recommend additional testing and evaluations. This is done either through their practice or with a specific specialist who can properly diagnose and treat certain conditions such as depression, oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD, or autism spectrum disorder.
Based on the results of your child’s screening, your pediatrician will then be able to create a custom treatment plan to help you and your child manage their condition and their symptoms. Your pediatrician can also refer your child to therapists and other specialists who can also provide additional support and treatment for the whole family.
If you’re having concerns about your child’s behavior, it’s best to talk with your pediatrician at your child’s next wellness checkup.
Though Summer is in full swing, Fall and the new school year (whatever that may look like) will soon be upon us. While we may welcome the cooler air and the beauty of the season, the dramatic rise in the number of people coming to our region will also bring an increase in the risk of contracting COVID-19. It is therefore vitally important for everyone to play a role in limiting the spread the virus, and in keeping eachother safe. That means mask wearing must become universal. Recognizing the importance of this simple measure, the Board of Health for the Town of Amherst has issued an emergency order mandating the wearing masks in the downtown area.
Likewise, to keep our staff and patients safe, no one age 2 years and above will be allowed to enter our office without an approriate face covering.
Getting Regular Check-ups
These check-ups are also important for parents, as it gives them a chance to ask questions they may have about their child’s sleeping and eating habits, or other behaviors their child may be displaying. During your child’s regular pediatric checkups, your doctor will check your child’s height, weight, vision, and hearing. These visits begin within the first five days after birth and will continue at:
- 1 month old
- 2 months old
- 4 months old
- 6 months old
- 9 months old
- 12 months old
- 15 months old
- 18 months old
- 24 months old
- 30 months old
- 3 years old
Looking for a pediatrician? Need to schedule your child’s next check-ups? Our pediatric team is here to address any questions and concerns you may have. From immunizations to sports injuries, we handle it all.
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