In addition to "relax and have fun," don't forget to put "schedule a well-child visit" on your summer to-do-list. Recommended for infants, children and teens, these medical appointments are the time for vaccinations, important health screenings and a check of your child's development. It's also a good time for you to ask questions and voice concerns.
Heed the tips below to make scheduling and keeping well-child visits easier and to help you make the most of them.
Know When to Go
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends well-child visits for babies and young toddlers at 3 to 5 days old, then at ages 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 24 and 30 months. Starting at age 3, kids and teens need one preventive care visit every year through age 21.
Make Scheduling (and Remembering) a Cinch
Take advantage of appointment reminders — by phone, text or email — offered by the pediatrician’s office. Schedule well-child appointments at the same time each year, such as before the start of school, to help you remember. And always say “yes” if office staff offer to schedule the next well visit while you’re already there. This convenience boosts the chances you and your child will keep this important appointment.
Understand the Benefits
Unlike sick visits, where the focus is on diagnosing and treating illness, every well-child visit covers a wide range of health needs, depending on your child’s age. These include:
• A physical exam
• Checks of vision, hearing, cholesterol and blood pressure at recommended ages, plus autism spectrum disorder screening
• An assessment of your child’s eating, weight, sleeping, physical activity and emotional health
• For adolescents, time for confidential conversations about issues such as drinking, smoking, drugs, sexual activity and depression
Strengthen your partnership with the healthcare provider. Before your appointment, jot down three to five questions about your child’s well-being that you’d like to discuss. Conversations with your child’s pediatrician or family provider at wellness visits are a great way to build a relationship that can enhance your child’s health.
Call Our Connection Specialists
WellConnect specialists are available to help you schedule an appointment. They can be reached at 812-376-5136. Or stop in at the downtown office at the intersection of Third and Washington streets.