More Health:

May 25, 2022

Essential annual checkups for children

Children's Health Parenting

Content sponsored by IBC - Native (195x33)

Purchased - Doctor examining girl during pandemic jacoblund/

If there’s one thing for sure when it comes to having kids, it’s that you’re bound to spend some time at the doctor’s office. Bumps and falls or a seasonal flu can all send you to the family practice on what might feel like a weekly basis! But preventive care is even more important for your child — especially when they’re younger and rapidly hitting developmental milestones.

If you’re a parent, make sure these health visits are on the calendar for your child every year.

Well-child visits

Your family should find a pediatric practice where your child can get consistent care. Well-child visits to this provider will always include checking height and weight and screening for common health problems. These visits ensure that your child is growing and developing as expected.

Before the age of three, these health visits may occur frequently, but after that they should still happen once a year. Immunizations and guidance for parents about schooling, sleep, safety, and other expectations are an important part of these visits.

Hearing and vision screenings

Vision issues are very common in children. Your child may receive hearing and vision screenings at their wellness visits or in school, but it’s important that they are done annually no matter the setting.

If your child has any difficulties with vision, they should see an ophthalmologist for a more in-depth exam, and possibly a prescription. If your child wears any kind of corrective lenses, they’ll need to visit this doctor annually to have their prescription updated as they grow.

Dental exam

Children should start seeing a dentist as early as their first birthday. A dental exam this early will help identify any problems early on. It will also help your child become comfortable visiting the dentist — an important life-long habit!

The dentist will want to see your child twice per year. There are specialized pediatric dentists who will provide helpful advice on how to care for your child’s teeth. This is especially important for younger children, when the bulk of day-to-day care is being done by a parent.

Specialist visits

Depending on their family history or symptoms, it may be important for your child to see a specialist. Families with a history of skin cancer, for example, may want their child to begin seeing a dermatologist at an early age. Mental health is just as important as physical health for kids, so if you are concerned, a trip to a therapist or other provider is a good preventative step to take.

A pediatrician can help with both referrals and guidance on additional specialists that are worth seeing. That’s part of why it’s important to find a great practice and stick with it: as they watch your child grow across each visit, they’ll increasingly be able to offer better care options and recommendations that will lead to positive health outcomes.

Follow us

Health Videos