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The importance of annual check-ups for kids of all ages

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Well-child check-ups are an important part of your children’s health care. Annual checkups are a chance to review milestones, screen for age-appropriate issues, and establish a baseline for future health. If your child has not had a checkup in the past 12 months, make this the year your child gets back on track.

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Benefits of well-child visits

Prevention: Annual check-ups help you stay on top of scheduled immunizations to prevent illness. They also provide a chance to discuss nutrition, safety or other preventative health care questions with your child’s pediatrician.

Development milestones: At a well-child visit you’ll learn how much your child has grown in the time since your last visit and talk with your doctor about your child's development. This visit is the perfect time to discuss milestones your child should have achieved, social behaviors, and learning.

Raising concerns: Before the visit, make note of any development, behavior, sleep or eating habits that you’d like to discuss with your doctor. Bring your concerns with you to the appointment.

Team approach: Regular visits create strong, trustworthy relationships among pediatrician, parent and child. The AAP recommends well-child visits as a way for pediatricians and parents to help develop optimal physical, mental and social health of a child.

Regular health risk assessments: Another reason to make time for those check-ups

Research and guidance from the AAP is updated regularly and it’s important that your child benefit from new screenings or procedures. Risk assessments and screening tests are an important part of preventative health care. Regular check-ups give your doctor the chance to detect issues early and early detection is often critical to successful treatment. Northpoint Pediatrics incorporates the following assessments at well-child exams:
  • Cholesterol screening between ages 9 and 11 years.
  • A risk assessment for hematocrit or hemoglobin at ages 15 and 30 months.
  • A risk assessment for lead exposure at age 12 months and 2 years.
  • MCHAT-R; The modified checklist for Autism in Toddlers is a developmental screening tool for toddlers used at 18 months and 24 months.
  • Developmental screening tool for detecting developmental delays at 9 months and 21/2 years of age.
  • Screening for early detection of amblyopic risk factors at 6 months, 15 months, 3 years, 4 years and 5 years.
  • Visual Acuity screen at 6 years, 8 years, 10 years, 12 years, 15 years, and 18 years.
  • Hearing screening at 4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 8 years, 10 years.
  • Screening for STD starting at age 12.

Annual well-child visits aren’t just for infants, toddlers and young children

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children aged eleven to twenty-one be seen annually by their pediatrician. These check-ups may change in focus over the years. The pediatrician decides what needs to be done at each annual visit depending on what has been happening in your child’s life and what tests have been done in the past. Learn more about annual well-child appointments at Northpoint Pediatrics in Indianapolis.

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Have your forms ready!
School sports physicals, summer camp health forms, kindergarten or 6th grade vaccinations… Schedule your annual check-up this spring to meet these important deadlines. 
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