The importance of Well Child visits in person

The importance of Well Child visits in person

These days, well child visits can be easy to overlook or delay, or to choose to do virtually. In many parents’ minds, they think, “Why should I potentially expose my child to the coronavirus or other pathogens for a well visit?” And with many doctor’s offices taking fewer patients and/or initially closing down, parents haven’t been in a hurry to take their children in for these visits, especially if they’re not due for any vaccines. The truth is, however, that well child visits in person are very important. Here is why you should absolutely take your child to their visit. 


What happens at a Well Child visit?

During this visit, your child will have some basic checks. Their vitals such as temperature and heart rate, etc will be checked. Measurements such as height and weight will be taken to ensure your child is growing on track. You will be asked some developmental questions about your child, and will have the chance to bring up any issues your child is experiencing that you would like a doctor’s advice on. Your child’s pediatrician can then write out any necessary referrals if needed. A well child visit, in a nutshell, is your chance to touch base with your child’s doctor and make sure everything is on track. Regular visits help doctors optimize your child’s social, and emotional health. 


Your doctor also gets to observe your child for anything unusual. Doctors can detect abnormalities and can observe things like your child’s eye contact, reactivity, and degree of activity. This is especially important when it comes to babies and toddlers. They get to observe and test whether your child is meeting certain gross motor and fine motor milestones.


What’s more, there are screenings that occur during certain of these visits. Blood tests for lead are one example, as well as hearing tests and eyesight tests. 


For adolescents, these visits are still very important. Many chronic conditions begin in adolescence. The pediatrician can observe your child’s mood, demeanor, and body language. 


Conditions that can be caught during it

If your child has one of these conditions, they may be caught by your child’s doctor during this visit: issues like unusual head growth in a baby, eye and ear issues, enlarged tonsils, cavities or other dental issues, lung, and heart issues, eating disorders, and abnormal reflexes. This is by no means an exhaustive list. 

So, have your child seen in person for their well child visit at your primary pediatrician’s office. If your child does not have a primary pediatrician, your local pediatric urgent care can refer you to one because they know a lot of the pediatricians in the community. See this video for more info!