If you’ve ever sought advice from a seasoned parent, they’ll be quick to tell you that every child is different. We’re not talking just about personality traits and food preferences, we’re talking about their one-of-a-kind life circumstances. Each child’s uniqueness is due to many things, including their growth rate, potential for allergic reactions, brain development, the environment in which they are raised, and their genetic predispositions.
Yearly exams are critical for monitoring the health and well-being of every child. What’s considered normal for one kid might be abnormal in the next, even though they may have similar lives. It’s important for children to develop long-term relationships with their doctors so that they can be correctly diagnosed. If a doctor only sees a child when they are sick, then the doctor won’t get to know what the child is like when he or she is healthy.
What to expect during a pediatric checkup:
- Measurements. Weight and height to determine body mass index (BMI).
- Vital signs, including oxygen level, heart rate, and temperature.
- Examination of ears, lungs, heart, skin and eyes.
- Questions asked by parents and doctors to address concerns.
- Immunization updates to safeguard against measles, mumps, polio, rotavirus and other serious childhood diseases.
The benefits of a yearly checkup:
- Protect child from illness
- Track growth
- Detect developmental problems early
- Discuss eating and sleeping patterns to improve the daily routine
If you’d like to know more about what’s expected during each stage of a child’s development, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has created a schedule of recommendations for Preventative Pediatric Health Care. You can download it here.
If it’s been a while, please reach out to your child’s doctor to see when they are due for their next exam.