Health

What To Expect During Well-Child Visits

Outpatient pediatric appointments typically fall into two major categories: The first is the acute care visits for critical problems, including emergency diagnostic and treatment of diseases, and the other is the well-child visits. You probably remember going on these visits when you were a child. Research is critical to appreciate what every parent should expect during Bastrop well child exams.

What are well-child visits?

These appointments are periodic check-ins for children, and parents can ask questions about their child’s development. Still, it is a good time for physicians to impart information about normal development, nutrition, sleep safety, and make sure the children are growing up in a healthy environment. Because pediatricians often follow many of their patients from newborn until 18 years old, they tend to build rapport and get to know details about the child’s likes and dislikes as they grow older.

One way to start these well-child checks is to ask the parent what concerns they may need addressing at this visit. Next, the doctor will ask about medical history. Inform the physician if the child has had any hospitalizations, surgeries, new medical conditions since their last well-child visit.

The next big chunk is assessing development. If the patient is less than six years old, use milestone markers to determine whether the child is growing overall. The physician will watch the child move about the room: Are they crawling, walking, or trying to walk. Alternatively, doctors will ask older children, such as four-year-olds, to hop on one foot or use a pen and paper to draw. Children should be roughly able to draw a person with at least the same amount of body parts or features that correlate with their age. So the four-year-old should be able to draw at least ahead with a body and two feet. It is easy to assess communication by talking to the patient or observing them interact with their parents.

After this history, the physician will take a diet history: Are they picky eaters? Do they appear to be eating fruits and vegetables? Are they drinking milk? This part is crucial, especially in the overweight or obese children, to make recommendations for parents to correct.

Next, the physician will ask about sleep patterns: Are they sleeping independently? Do they spend the night in their parents’ bed? Do they have frequent nightmares or instances of sleepwalking? And if they do, are there any hazards around the room that need eliminated? Are there other safety issues relevant to the child’s age? Are they living in an old house or lead poisoning?

The doctor will ask about school and who their best friends are. Are they making friends? Are they getting into trouble? What are their favorite pastimes and toys to play with? Do they have a lot of opportunities to exercise? These details are important from a medical point of view and rapport-building. Contact PREMIER FAMILY PHYSICIANS to learn more about well-child visits.

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