A Comprehensive Guide to Well-child Visits

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The Importance of Well-child Visits at Every Age

Norton Children’s Medical Group

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Every parent wants to know that their child is growing and healthy. A well-child visit is a crucial part of every child’s health care journey, from the time they are born until they reach adulthood.

A well-child visit is a regularly scheduled health check up with your child’s pediatrician. These appointments serve many important purposes. They focus on your child’s overall health, preventive care, growth and developmental milestones, immunizations, plus serve as a time for parents to discuss any questions or concerns they may have about their child’s health or parenting. These visits also can help catch any potential health issues early and connect your child with additional support if needed for specific physical or mental health concerns.

Building a strong relationship with a pediatrician is an important part of your child’s health care journey. Pediatricians are specially trained to focus on children’s health. They will conduct physical and mental health screenings, along with a full physical health assessment, and offer medical guidance to your child and family. The benefit of your child seeing a pediatrician is the continuity it provides of your child seeing the same doctor(s) as they grow up.

Well-child visits may seem like a routine part of your child’s growth, but they play an important role in their overall health care, including their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. How often you need to schedule your child’s well-child visits will vary based on their age and developmental needs.

During a baby’s first year, they grow rapidly and will require more frequent visits with the pediatrician to ensure they are reaching their developmental milestones on time. Toddlers will continue to see their pediatrician at regular intervals throughout the year, and young children will need to check in with their pediatrician at least once a year. The full well-child visit schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is listed below:

 

 Newborn to Toddler  Early Childhood 2-5 years Middle Childhood 6-11 years Ealry Adolescent 12-18 Years
 First week (3 to 5 days old) 2 years old 6 years old 12 years old
1 month old 3 years old 7 years old 13 years old
2 month old 4 years old 8 years old 14 years old
3 month old 5 years old 9 years old 15 yeas old
4 month old 10 years old 16 years old
6 month old 11 years old 17 years old
9 month old 18 years old
12 months old (1 year)
15 months old
18 months old
24 months old (2 years)
30 months old

By becoming a part of your family’s medical home, the pediatricians with Norton Children’s Medical Group, can get to know your family on an individual basis, become familiar with your child’s health care needs and unique personality, plus offer the best tools, information and guidance to empower every child and parent to live a healthy lifestyle.

Although well-child visits, on their own, are not legally mandated, health physicals often are required for entry into school or day care and for participation in sports. Many state laws require these types of health check ups and immunizations for school children, and the well-child visit can serve as a great time to complete these requirements with a health care professional. Regularly scheduled check ups with your child’s pediatrician are strongly recommended by medical professionals to make sure your child receives the proper care at every stage of their growth.

During your child’s visit, you can expect your pediatrician to do the following:

  1. Comprehensive physical exam
    • The pediatrician will perform a thorough physical exam to assess your child’s general health, growth and any potential physical concerns. This includes regular screenings for physical and mental health issues.
  2. Developmental and behavioral assessments
    • Observing your child’s developmental progress and behavior helps identify any developmental delays or behavioral issues.
  3. Nutrition and feeding discussion
    • The pediatrician provides guidance on proper nutrition and feeding practices tailored to your child’s age and needs.
  4. Medical and family history review
    • Updating your child’s medical history and sharing any family health history helps the pediatrician make informed decisions about your child’s care.
  5. Immunizations updates
    • Well-child visits include getting recommended vaccinations to protect your child from various diseases. Keeping vaccinations up to date is crucial for their health and safety.
  6. Parents’ concerns and questions
    • Well-child visits provide a place for you to ask questions, share concerns and seek guidance on parenting, health and development.

During your child’s visit, you can expect your pediatrician to do the following:

  1. Child’s medical records and vaccine history
    • Having a record of your child’s medical history and vaccinations helps ensure accurate and effective care.
    • If your child is a patient at one of our pediatrician offices, parents or guardians have proxy access to the child’s Norton MyChart account to review medical history and immunization records.
  2. List of current medications
    • Inform the pediatrician about any medications your child takes. It helps to bring the specific prescription bottles to confirm the name and dosage of the medications.
  3. Any recent health concerns or changes
    • Sharing recent health changes or concerns (both physical and mental) ensures that the pediatrician has the most up-to-date information to provide appropriate care.
  4. Developmental milestone observations
    • Mention any developmental milestones your child has reached since the last visit or if they have experienced any backslides.
  5. A way to take notes
    • Bringing a notebook and pen or device (such as the Notes app or voice recorder on your phone) to take notes on the pediatrician’s recommendations and advice helps you remember and put their guidance into practice.
  6. Insurance and payment information
    • Many insurance plans cover well-child visits as preventive care. At Norton Children’s Medical Group, we accept Medicaid and most commercial insurance plans.
    • Understanding your coverage helps you plan financially. Confirming your insurance coverage before the visit helps you avoid unexpected expenses. Staying within your insurance network can help minimize out-of-pocket costs for well-child visits.

Well-child check ups are more than just routine appointments. They are a cornerstone for monitoring and supporting your child’s overall health and development. It is important to follow the recommended well-child visit schedule to ensure your child’s pediatrician can screen them for any health issues, provide necessary preventive care and immunizations, and give them the physical and mental support they need to achieve optimal health. It’s also a time for parents to receive support and helpful information from the pediatrician. Prioritizing your child’s health can help set them up for a brighter, healthier and happier future. Building a strong relationship with a pediatrician can help encourage more positive health care experiences and better long-term health later in life.

Benefits of Norton Children’s Medical Group

  • Convenient locations with more than 25 pediatrician offices in Louisville and surrounding areas in Kentucky and Southern Indiana
  • New patients can be seen within 24 hours
  • Same-day sick appointments are available
  • Schedule appointments online, get appointment reminders, communicate with your child’s medical provider, view and request immunization records, refill prescriptions and more through your free Norton MyChart account
  • Night and weekend hours are available
  • Access to Norton Children’s After Hours Care and the after-hours nurse care line
  • Medicaid and most major commercial insurance plans accepted

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