Well-Child Visits: An Essential Element of Love
On the first Saturday in April, the U.S. celebrates National Love Our Children Day. The fitting start to National Child Abuse Prevention Month places attention on the hidden epidemic of violence toward and neglect of children. It’s a reminder for everyone to appreciate children and develop loving and respectful relationships with them.
Besides hugs and endearments, scheduling well-child visits for your children is an essential way to show your love. Kids have higher possibilities to develop in a healthy manner when they are involved in a nourishing and productive community. Taking care of their physical health is a part of your children’s overall success in life.
An Important Opportunity
Well-child visits start a few days after birth and end at 21 years of age. A pediatrician (a doctor who specializes in the care and development of children) conducts the head-to-toe checkups to make sure your child grows up healthy.
“Well-child visits are important because they give us an opportunity to take measurements, detect illnesses early and review the vaccination or immunization calendar for children,” said Lucas S. Canton, a pediatrician in Equality Health’s extensive network of healthcare professionals. “Parents can expect these medical visits to include evaluations of their children to see if they are growing and developing in normal and healthy ways.”
The evaluations include measuring height, weight and blood pressure; checking vital functions; conducting an eye exam and hearing test; observing physical reflexes and reviewing life habits. If the doctor finds an area of concern, he or she will monitor the issue and treat if necessary.
A Win-Win Situation
According to the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), both you and your children benefit from well-child visits. The visits not only address your child’s current health, but they prevent diseases by keeping vaccination schedules up to date. You benefit because you can obtain invaluable information about your child’s development; learn about nutrition and safety in home, school and play environments; and discuss your child’s social behavior and learning habits.
These well-child visits create long-term relationships of trust and confidence between you, the pediatrician and your child. You become part of a team that looks out for your child’s well-being. This team-oriented focus promotes the optimal physical, mental and social health of your child.
No Dumb Question
To get the most from well-child visits, go prepared. Make a list of all the questions you want to ask the pediatrician. Don’t leave any off — when it comes to your child’s well-being, there is no dumb question. Add topics to discuss, such as your child’s development, behavior, nutrition and relationship with other family members.
“It’s important that parents ask everything that worries them about the development of their child,” said Dr. Canton. “This helps us focus on specific areas of healthcare.”
Bring the list with you. It will help spark important conversations about your child’s health.
Another facet of the well-child visit is the assessment of your child’s mental and emotional well-being. Well-child visits can detect a problem early, and appropriate treatment can create a life-changing shift.
The symptoms for mental disorders change as your child grows, and they surface as difficulties in the way your child plays, learns, speaks and acts or how they manage their emotions. Symptoms usually appear during your child’s first few years; although some disorders present during the teenage years.
There are many options regarding up-to-date and scientifically supported methods of treatment. Parents and doctors — along with other influential adults such as teachers, coaches, therapists and family relatives — must work together. Taking advantage of available resources helps everyone involved guide your child on the path to success.
Keep Your Kids Current
Have you kept your kids current with well-child visits? Taking care of their physical health is a part of your children’s overall success in life.
If you’ve been putting off well-child visits because of the pandemic, the healthcare providers in Equality Health’s extensive network take appropriate hygiene and social-distancing measures at their facilities. Wearing proper personal protective equipment, you can safely attend these visits.
If your child doesn’t have a pediatrician or if you are a member that needs assistance getting your kids to their check-ups, call Equality Health at 833.227.3100. We are here for you and your family.
Published in Prensa Arizona, 4/15/2021