As parents, we look after the health and wellness of our kids in hundreds of little ways every day. But sometimes, we can’t go it alone. An important part of raising healthy kids is about making sure they’re getting the health care they need. So read on to learn about the health checkups every child should be getting – including your own!
Special Section by By Laura Childers
Getting well-child exams. Every child should begin seeing a family doctor or pediatrician in infancy. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that during your child’s first three years, he or she is taken in for at least nine checkups. After that, a yearly checkup will do. Your doctor will check height, weight, and blood pressure, do a physical exam, and make sure your child is up-to-date on immunizations.
Getting sports physicals. If your kids participate in sports, they can get their required sports physicals at the same time as their wellness exams. Your doctor will look for anything that may make them unfit to play sports, and then sign a note of approval for your child’s school. Sometimes, schools will arrange for a health professional to do exams on site. This can be a great option, but it shouldn’t be considered a replacement for your child’s annual checkup.
Getting regular eye exams. Although the well-child exam will include a brief eye exam, it’s a good idea to have your kids see an optometrist too. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. Children then should receive additional eye exams at age 3 and just before they enter kindergarten or the first grade (ages 5-6).
Getting regular dental exams and teeth cleanings. Your child should have his or her first visit within six months of their first tooth and by no later than their first birthday.
Scheduling a handful of key routine visits can help parents raise healthy children who laugh a lot, play hard, and live life to the fullest. But sometimes, other issues crop up too, and that’s why we address a whole host of issues affecting kids in this special Children’s Health section. Knowledge is key to prevention and treatment. So read on to learn how you can best care for your little ones!