Parents know who they should go to when their child is sick. But pediatrician visits are just as important for healthy children.
Here are some of the benefits of well-child visits:
- Prevention. Your child gets scheduled immunizations to prevent illness. You also can ask your pediatrician about nutrition and safety in the home and at school.
- Tracking growth and development. See how much your child has grown in the time since your last visit, and talk with your doctor about your child’s development. You can discuss your child’s milestones, social behaviors and learning.
- Raising concerns. Make a list of topics you want to talk about with your child’s pediatrician such development, behavior, sleep, eating or relations with other family members. Present your top three to five questions or concerns to the pediatrician at the start of the visit.
- Team approach. Regular visits create strong, trustworthy relationships among pediatrician, parent and child. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports well-child visits as a way for pediatricians and parents to serve the needs of children. This team approach helps develop optimal physical, mental and social health of a child.
The AAP has updated its schedule for well-child care visits. Schedule your child’s visits at the following ages:
- 2 to 5 days
- 1 month
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 12 months
- 15 months
- 18 months
- 2 years old
- 2½ years old
- 3 years
- Once every year thereafter for a physical examination and other assessments.