Like adults, children also require regular check-ups. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, children and adolescents from 4 to 21 years old should go for a pediatric check-up at least once a year. If your child is under four years old, you may need to see a baby doctor more often.
Why Are Regular Pediatric Checkups Important?
As a parent, you might be conflicted about whether to take your kid to a family doctor or a child doctor. However, it's advisable to see a pediatrician since they are specially trained to diagnose and treat a wide variety of childhood illnesses.
Here are the four leading reasons why your child needs frequent pediatric visits:
1. To Prevent Illness and Injury
One of the principal reasons why you should visit a child doctor is for immunization purposes. As you know, immunizations are designed to prevent illnesses. So, your child should be vaccinated against various diseases, including chickenpox, measles, tetanus, meningitis, and pneumococcal infections. Also, the pediatrician provides essential tips about how you can ensure your child's safety at home.
2. To Assess Your Child's Growth and Development
During a well visit, the doctor records the child's weight, head circumference, and height. These measurements help the pediatrician track your child's growth and detect problems if there are any. The doctor may also check if the baby's fontanels are closing properly. Other areas that are examined during a routine check-up include the following:
- Genital area
The check-up helps to uncover health problems, such as heart murmurs, undescended testicles, and hernias, that require urgent specialized treatment.
3. Nutritional Advice
Kid's care goes beyond routine check-ups and immunizations. As a responsible parent, you have to ensure that they are getting the right nutrition. Sometimes, you may not be sure about the type of food to feed your child in different stages of growth. So, you need a doctor to offer nutritional advice.
4. To Address Behavioral Issues
If you are a new parent, you may not be sure if your child is behaving as expected. In most cases, it's hard to tell if they have major behavioral issues that need attention. Thus, you need to take them to a pediatrician for behavior assessment. Since they are experts, a doctor can tell when your child is displaying abnormal behavior patterns.
It is advisable to find a good doctor early in your child's life. Visiting the same pediatrician for your child's treatment and routine check-ups not only builds trust but also creates consistency.