When your child was young, visiting the pediatrician was quite an event. You had to load up the car with the car seat, stroller and toys and stock the diaper bag with extra clothes, diapers, snacks and wipes. Fortunately, as kids get older, heading to the doctor is much easier. However, that doesn’t make it any less important.
“Your child’s annual well-visit at any age with their pediatrician is an important time to check in with their doctor,” says David Levine, MD, pediatrician at Atlantic Health System. “You can ask questions, share concerns and be sure you’re doing all you can to keep your child healthy and thriving.”
Rachel Gwertzman, MD, pediatrician at Atlantic Health System, also points out that the annual visit is a great time for parents to check in with the pediatrician, too. “Being a pediatrician isn’t just about working with the child. It’s about working with the family as a whole. Even as children get older – it’s about parenting and how best to communicate and having a relationship with your child,” she shares.
Drs. Levine and Gwertzman share their top tips for making the most of your child’s well visit – at any age.
Be prepared. Take the time to learn what you can expect at your child’s well visit:
o Your child will have their height and weight checked and vitals (such as blood pressure and temperature) taken.
o A nurse or medical assistant will run through a growth and development questionnaire that helps us identify any areas of concern.
o Your pediatrician will perform a physical exam and spend time talking with you and your child. They’ll answer questions and review how the past year has been.
o Your child may need vaccines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the latest recommendations for babies, children and adults.
Help your child prepare for the visit. Walk through the visit with them and remind them how well past appointments have gone. Use dolls or action figures to show them exactly what they can expect during their visit.
Write down your questions or concerns. Start a new note on your phone or grab a notebook to write down the questions or topics you want to discuss with
your child’s doctor. Feel free to refer to it throughout the appointment so that you can get the answers and guidance you want and need.
Get Our Wellness Exam Checklist
Click here to download our list of six areas you need to cover at your child’s next wellness exam.