Expert Health Articles

Why Regular Well-Child Exams Are Important

Danielle Wicker, LPN

Pediatric Supervisor
Caughman Health Center

As parents in today’s world, there are numerous daily tasks to juggle, from going to work to preparing meals and driving kids to and from practices. Sometimes, if we do not have any concerns as parents about our child’s development, we may not realize the importance of making time for their well-child exams.

Recommended Schedule of Visits

While it may feel like there are not enough hours in a day, it is important to keep well-child exams as recommended. The American Academy of Pediatrics developed a well-child exam schedule, which allows patients to be seen at strategic ages to ensure growth and development milestones are on track.

A suggested schedule of well-child visits, beginning from a child’s birth, typically includes the following ages: the first week (three to five days old), one month, two months, four months, six months, nine months, 12 months (one year), 15 months (one year and three months), 18 months (one year and six months), 24 months (two years), 30 months (two years and six months), and once each year from ages three to 21.

Things Discussed at Well-Child Exams

There are many things discussed and checked at well-child exams. These examinations generally include some of the following: vaccines are discussed to decrease the probability of preventable diseases, age-appropriate screenings are completed, a physical exam is performed, and there is time to speak about concerns you and/or your child may have.

Importance of These Exams

Attending regular well-child exams allows the patient, parent, and provider to create a plan of care together as a team. The care plan is tailored to the family and helps to build rapport and trust between the provider, child, and parent.

It is just as important to have your child seen for well-child exams as it is to have them seen when they are sick. The sooner concerns or delays are caught, the better the chance that interventions will be successful.

If it’s been an extended amount of time between visits to the physician’s office for your child, contact your healthcare provider and schedule an appointment today.