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Fairview Range Blog

The Importance of Well-Child Visits

May 6, 2021 1:39:00 PM / by Fairview Range

Kids are constantly growing. As they age and hit new milestones, it is important to keep an eye on their growth and development. A yearly well-child visit with your provider should be a must. This measurement of their progress and overall health will keep your child, and the rest of your family, happy and healthy. Both pediatricians and family medicine providers can provide care for patients ages 0-18. Family medicine is a great option for overall care for everyone in the family. Pediatricians specialize in the care of children and teens. In some cases, a family medicine provider will consult with a pediatrician.

Fairview Mesaba Clinic pediatrician Dr. Lisa Buenger gives us more insight into well-child visits and how they provide an opportunity for you to ensure that your child is meeting their physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development milestones, and equipping them with a healthy foundation to live their best lives.

What is a well-child visit?
A child’s first check-up, or well-child visit, is a simple visit with a pediatrician or family medicine provider to assess your child’s health. It is also a way for parents to build a relationship with their child’s provider and start your child’s health records. This way, your providers have information to compare to in the future. If there is a change in a child’s growth or development, your child’s care team can spot it faster. Well-child visits will continue to be frequent following the days or weeks after delivery. They will eventually become annual check-ups as your child goes through infancy, childhood, and adolescence. 

What should I be talking about in a well-child visit?
Aside from the routine screen tests, vaccinations, checking blood pressure, vision, and hearing, along with other aspects of your child’s growth and development, a well-child visit is a perfect time to bring up any questions or concerns you may have regarding your child’s development and general health.  We recommend preparing a list of what you would like to discuss, and as your child gets older it is good practice to have them contribute their own questions. Some questions to ask during these check-ups may include:

Infancy (0-1)

  • How can I best keep my child protected from any infectious diseases going around?
  • Is there anything I should or shouldn’t be taking while breastfeeding?
  • What developmental milestones should I be looking out for before our next check-up?
  • What signs and symptoms should I be looking out for that warrant a trip to the clinic or urgent care?
  • Is there anything I should prepare for our next check-up?

Childhood (2-11)

  • Are all my child’s shots up-to-date? How can I get their immunization record?
  • How can I best keep my child protected from any infectious diseases going around?
  • When can I get rid of my child’s booster seat? Or, is my child old enough to graduate to a booster seat?
  • How much screen time should my child get? How can I effectively limit screen time?
  • What can I do to help if my child is struggling academically?
  • What warrants signs of early depression or anxiety?

Adolescence (12-18)

Particularly for adolescents, a well-child check-up is an opportune time to discuss their future behaviors that will pertain to their health. The parent may be asked to leave the room, so an adolescent can have an open conversation with their provider. Questions parents may have include:

  • What do I do if my child is beginning to engage in risky behavior or if I notice signs of peer pressure?
  • What warrants early signs of depression or anxiety?
  • What do I do if I notice my child is withdrawing from activities they used to enjoy?
  • How do I ensure my child is getting enough sleep?
  • How do I approach topics such as sexual behavior, substance abuse, and mental health concerns with my child?

When should I schedule a well-child visit? 
Many parents choose to schedule their child’s annual check-ups around their birth months. While others choose the summer to stay ahead of school sports. Typically, schools require physical exams before partaking in any sport. In that case, Fairview Mesaba Clinic recommends getting your child’s visit scheduled and completed early, as there tends to be less availability toward the start of each season. 

Schedule today
You and your child should feel comfortable speaking with your provider as well-child visits are the perfect time to discuss any concerns you or your child may have. Some concerns can be addressed in one visit, but some may require follow-up appointments to ensure your child’s problems are being addressed. If problems persist, don’t hesitate to reach out to the child’s provider; they may recommend a specialist. 

For those questions you have in-between visits, our virtual visit options are a great way to connect with your provider from anywhere. 

Fairview Mesaba Clinic providers are here to help your children throughout the stages of their life. To find a provider in your area, visit fairview.org/range.

Call or schedule an appointment through Fairview MyChart, or call 218-362-6937.

Topics: pediatrics

Fairview Range

Written by Fairview Range

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