Wellness visits, or “check-ups,” are some of the most important visits children can have with their doctor. Infants and toddlers have frequent check-ups to make sure that they are growing and developing like they are supposed to. Parents can bring up any concerns they have, but the doctor will also ask questions and give advice on what to expect in the future.
Appropriate immunizations are also administered during wellness visits, and any screenings can be performed.
Your doctor will look at your child’s weight, height, head circumference (in young children), and weight-for-length or BMI. These measurements help your doctor determine if your child is growing at a normal rate or if they are over- or underweight. Most wellness visits will include some discussion of nutrition and physical activity, but your doctor may need to spend more time on those things based on the child’s growth.
You may be asked to complete a survey of your child’s abilities as they grow. This is very important in young children to make sure that any delays are caught early. If your child is behind, they need to start therapy as soon as possible to prevent any worsening. This may include speech therapy, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.
There are many things your doctor can check for at different ages. Your doctor may perform different tests to ensure development, hearing, vision, blood pressure, and even lab work are all normal. They can also screen for autism in young children or depression in teenagers. It is important to catch any abnormalities early so they can be addressed.
There is a set scheduled issued by the CDC that most pediatricians follow, and these coincide with wellness visits. That’s one of many reasons it is important to see your doctor at the appropriate ages.
If your child is healthy, it may feel like wellness visits are a waste of time. But your doctor wants to make sure that your child is safe, healthy, and on the path toward a healthy adulthood!
When are wellness visits?
In the first year, they are typically in the newborn period, 2 months, 4 months, 6months, 9months, and 12months. Then 15 months, 18months, and 24months in the second year. After another visit at 30 months, these visits become yearly.
When are vaccines?
They typically coincide with these visits.
What is included?
Vitals signs, physician visit, and screening questionnaires are typically included.