Medical check-ups are essential for keeping children healthy and up-to-date on their immunizations. It also allows parents to discuss with doctors about developmental and safety issues. Sometimes kids also want to ask questions about their health and changing body.
At the annual medical check-up, doctors can keep track of changes in physical, mental and social development. Doctors can also help kids understand the importance of healthy lifestyle that includes good nutrition, proper exercise, and safety.
Normally at annual medical check-ups, kids are weighed and measured and their results are plotted on growth charts for weight, height, and body mass index (BMI). All of this data allows doctors to see the growth of the kids and compare it to normal rates. The doctors have the family history and medical history and also perform a complete physical examination.
For the basic medical check-up, the doctors check for child’s blood pressure, vision, and hearing. It is very important to screen for anemia, tuberculosis, or high cholesterol. Immunizations record must be checked for:
- Tetanus, diphtheria
- First HPV vaccine
- First meningococcal vaccine
- Flu vaccine
It is also important for doctors to check about child’s sleep, exercise and eating habits. A yearly exam also lets teenage kids talk with their doctors about any questions related to puberty.
In annual medical check-ups, doctors might also talk to children about the importance of personal care and hygiene. Doctors can also create awareness of the bad effects of using alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. They can even stress safety, like wearing a bicycle helmet or using seatbelts.
Sometimes doctors provide counseling on behavioral issues, learning problems, difficulties at school and other concerns.
Apart from annual medical check-ups, usually parents have the ability to judge if their child is sick enough for a visit to the doctor. Some symptoms that may require a doctor’s attention include:
- Weight change or eating habits
- Behavioral changes or changes in sleep patterns
- Slow or no growth in height
- Fever and acting sick
- Frequent, long-lasting vomiting or diarrhea
- Skin infection or an unusual or persistent rash
- Stubborn cough, wheezing, or other breathing problems
- localized pain
Some of the common problems found in the pediatric age group include sleep disorders, bedwetting, strep throat, and colds. Sometimes kids are injured playing sports or other activities and some kids develop stress-related stomachaches or headaches. They need to be immediately taken to the nearest urgent care centers that treat non-life threatening illnesses just to be sure that don’t develop any kind of ailment.
Routine check-ups and vaccination ensure normal development, track healthy growth, and protect from preventable disease. If kids are having proper diet, activity, and immunizations, it also protects them from common and potentially severe diseases. Routine annual visits are the cornerstone of preventative care.