Well visits occur at different times during a child’s life and begin as early as three days old. Regular well-visits with a primary care doctor is an important way to serve the growing needs of your child and ensure the best health throughout their lives.
During a well-visit the doctor should give you advice about your child’s health, daily care, sleep positions, feeding and nutrition, development and behavior, and your child’s physical activities as well. During the exam, your child may receive immunizations (also known as vaccinations, vaccines or shots) and screenings, depending on his or her health and what your doctor suggests.. If your child has a disability or delay, your doctor may refer your child to an early intervention program (EIP) for further care and treatment.
Newborn – 12 months old:
Your baby’s first well-visit should be within three to five days of birth. During this visit the doctor will take your baby’s measurements, perform required screenings, and he/she may give your baby some important vaccines.
Your baby should also receive well-visits at one, two, four and six months of age. Since your baby is older, there are a few important screenings that the doctor will complete during these well-visits. These screenings are critical to your child’s growth and development. The doctor will also do a physical check-up, provide guidance on caring for your baby and discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s health.
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Toddler (1 – 2 years old):
At this stage your child is transitioning from being an infant to a toddler and will need to have a well-visit with their primary care doctor at 12 months (1-year-old), 15, 18, 24 months (2-years-old) and 30 months old (2½ years old). The doctor will check their physical and behavioral health as well as other important skills, and continue to monitor their measurements, development and nutritional needs. Your child will also receive different types of screenings and vaccines that will give them a foundation for a healthy life as they get older and prepare to start school.
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Children (3 – 10 years old)
Your child should have a well-visit with their primary care doctor once every year starting at the age of 3. During these years your child may go from being a preschooler to grade-schooler in no time, and then other areas of their health become important as they may begin to interact with other children outside the home. The doctor will assess their social and cognitive thinking skills and continue to monitor their measurements for growth and development as well as their physical health and nutritional needs. There may be some additional vaccines that are required for your school age child, which will be given by the doctor during their annual well-visit.
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