Most children do not like going to the doctor’s office, which is understandable as typically they go to the doctor because they are sick or not feeling well. Yet, did you know your child should be seeing the doctor even when they are not sick? Even your teenager needs to be seen. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that your child gets a well child check up every year until they are 21.
McKenzie Medical Center (MMC) understands that taking your child or teen to the doctor is not as easy. As mentioned above, most children do not like to go to the doctor. As a parent, you have to take off work. There is the risk of exposure for your healthy child.
However, the benefits of a well child check up for your child or teen greatly outweigh any risks. A well child check up is a good time for parents to raise questions and concerns about a child’s development, behavior, immunization needs, nutrition, safety and overall well-being.
Holly Arnold, a Physician Assistant at MMC’s Pediatrics Department, with over 10 years of experience notes, “Being a parent is not easy. No one has all the answers, in regards to the best care for your child or teen, but with a well child check up we take time to help you as a parent make the best choices for your child.”
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, medical or otherwise. Your child’s provider can give valuable advice on how to promote your child’s learning and development, how to potty train, tips on playground safety and answer questions you may have about immunizations for your teen including: HPV, Tdap and meningitis vaccines.
Well child check ups allow you to track the growth and development of your child and make sure your child is on track. By doing a well child check-up yearly you can make sure any issues are identified and addressed early.
An MMC patient has first hand experience on the benefits of well child check ups, “It was at one of my grandson’s infant well exams that Holly noticed there were some problems with his growth and development. We knew he was small, but so is his mother so we didn’t think anything about it. Holly was vigilant about checking his measurements when he was in and when they weren’t measuring how she thought they should, she made the appropriate referrals. After several specialist visits and tests, we have finally gotten a diagnosis and can proceed with all the proper therapies. I’m not sure we would have gotten this diagnosis so early and therefore been able to start the appropriate therapies for him if it weren’t for his wellness checkup.”
Dr. Williams, a pediatrician at MMC with 8 years of experience commented, “At MMC we believe these well child check ups are essential for helping your child and teen progress into adulthood. They are a key part of preventative care: helping prevent future disease or injury or catching health problems before they become serious.”
Regular well child check ups create a team approach for your child’s health care that helps develop optimal physical, mental and social health of a child. AAP recommends well child check ups as a way for medical providers and parents to best serve the needs of children and teenagers.
Holly concluded, “With school starting soon, there will be a rush for parents to get their child seen to meet the school requirements. July is a great time to come in for a well child check up, before the busy season. That way you can make sure all is well with your child’s health and that they are ready for the new school year.”
If you have questions or would like to schedule your child’s well child check up today contact McKenzie Medical Center at 731-352-7907