Why should parents make an annual well check a routine for each child regardless of age?

The annual well visit for a child is very important. Especially, you know, even as they get older, we may only see them once a year, but it’s still very important because we’re checking on their overall development and their growth. And there’s things that we can pick up along the way that if we’re not seeing them we may not be aware of. So whether it be issues at school or, you know, different milestones that they’re not meeting or growth delay, different issues like that, If we’re not seeing them on a regular basis, then we’re not able to pick up on those things and intervene earlier than we could.

We see kids very often, you know, from the time that they’re newborns until about the age of three. So we’re seeing them every few months up to, you know, every six months until they are three. And then after three, we see them once a year at least. But often, you know, when those immunization visits decrease and they’re not needed anymore and there’s a gap in the time that they receive immunizations, a lot of parents will think, “Well, I don’t need to take my child in.” So there may be a gap of a couple years from the time that they bring them in for well visits. But it’s really necessary and needed for us to see them on a regular basis, on a yearly basis at least, so we can, you know, potentially catch things that otherwise might be missed.

I would definitely say there’s a benefit to seeing the same provider or the same group of providers because there’s more consistency in the care. We can follow, you know, how has this child been developing and growing from the first time we saw them as a newborn? And we can see the trends there and be able to track that better and know that this is normal for this child versus it wouldn’t be normal for another child.

Well, the social aspect of a child’s development is very important, just as important as their physical development, and so that’s something else that we’ll be looking at each time that we see the child for their well visit. We’ll be checking to see, how do they interact socially at home, with friends, at school, with their teachers? And so, it’s nice to be able to be proactive and identify maybe some issues early on and get them the intervention that they need rather than waiting till there’s a problem at school and parents are getting calls or phone calls or meetings with the teacher because there’s real issues at school. If we can be more proactive in that, that would be best.