Well-child visits begin when a child is a few days old and continue until adulthood.

Well visits are an important part of child healthcare

Expecting parents will soon discover that having a child sparks many changes in their lives. As infancy rolls into toddlerhood and beyond, there is usually one constant in the busy lives of new families: the pediatrician. Children visit their pediatricians at regular intervals, and these doctors are invaluable sources of support and care.

Pediatricians provide well-child services throughout youngsters’ childhoods. Health checkups start from the day the baby is born and continue until a child reaches adulthood. JAMA Pediatrics says there are many benefits of well-child visits. One of the key aspects of these checkups is tracking a child’s growth and development, including physical, cognitive, emotional, and social progress.

Another component of well-child visits is to prevent injury and illness. When parents come in for these visits, the staff will likely go over the appropriate safety protocol for that child’s age and milestone. This may include car seat safety checks, preventing falls, choking hazards, and safety when entering school.

Bright Futures/American Academy of Pediatrics developed a set of comprehensive health guidelines for well-child care, and many pediatricians follow these schedule and screening guidelines. Visits often start at one-month intervals, and then increase by two- and three- month durations until the child is two years old.

After 2.5 years of age, annual visits become the norm. The reason that earlier visits occur so often is because early childhood is a period of rapid development. In addition, various vaccinations are recommended to protect children from communicable diseases. These immunizations must be administered according to schedule to be most effective.

Well-child visits are also opportunities for screening tests and physical examinations. Exams typically involve checking blood pressure, vision, hearing, general blood tests and urinalysis. Many parents use checkups as an opportunity to ask questions about development and ensure that children are safe to participate in school sports and extracurricular activities, as well.

Parents should come equipped with questions to ask the doctor during well-child appointments to make the most of their visits.

The AAP says well-child visits should begin from three to five days old. Therefore, expecting parents should find a pediatrician for their child as soon as possible to ensure that well-child visits can begin immediately after the child is born.

— Metro Connection

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