From Birth to High School Graduation: When to Take Your Child in for Medical Checkups
By : Carol Wilson
There’s a myriad amount of information that new parents needs to know before bringing baby home, and some of the most important information is related to well-child visits.
Your child’s body will experience constant growth and change from birth until early adulthood, and to ensure that their growth is healthy and normal, you will need to stay on top of when to take them in for physical exams.
The following is a preventive health care schedule recommended by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
As always, consult your pediatrician for more specific advice on your child’s health care plan.
Preventive Health Care Schedule
If you have high-risk pregnancy, your doctor should recommend that you visit a pediatrician before the baby is born to discuss what to expect after the birth. Some parents also should visit a pediatrician before the birth if they have any questions or concerns about feeding, circumcision or other general care questions. If you are breastfeeding your baby, the child’s first pediatrician visit should come two to three days after being released from the hospital. For all other babies (breastfed or not) who are released from the hospital before they are two days old, the first doctor visit should happen before they are five days old. However, some health care providers will allow experienced parents to wait until the baby is one to two weeks old before going in for the first checkup.
After the first well-child checkup, visits should occur at the following frequencies. Although they can vary, depending on your child’s individual health care needs:
– by 1 month (experienced parents may wait until 2 months)
– 2 months
– 4 months
– 6 months
– 9 months
– 1 year
– 15 months
– 18 months
– 2 years
– 3 years
– 4 years
– 5 years
– 6 years
– 8 years
– 10 years
– each year after that until age 21 (especially if your child is physically active in any organized sport).
The NLM also reminds parents that, in addition to these visits, your child should visit their pediatrician any time they seem ill or if you are worried about their health or development.
For more information on how to spot illness or developmental problems, contact your health insurance provider’s nurse hotline or your child’s pediatrician.
Carol Wilson is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in topics related to the business world; including marketing, entrepreneurship, small business ownership and even business insurance. She is also a mom who enjoys sharing the parenting advice she has been given with others. Carol welcomes your comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.