Children should have a well visit every year just like adults. Annual pediatric exams ensure children are growing and developing according to schedule, and having exams on a regular basis also helps ensure any diseases or conditions are caught in their earliest stages so they can be treated. Plus, annual exams ensure each child receives immunizations and other well care to help them avoid serious diseases.
Pediatric well visits include many of the same examinations and assessments as an adult well visit, with an emphasis on assessing the patient for diseases and conditions most likely to occur during childhood. Before the examination, parents will need to provide a complete medical history for the child and family members to help identify potential risk factors for diseases, and the nurse or doctor will measure weight, height, and blood pressure. During the exam, the doctor will evaluate the ears, eyes and throat, assess joint function and reflexes, and gently palpate the belly and other areas to look for signs of tenderness or swelling. The doctor will also use a stethoscope to assess the heart and lungs. Finally, the doctor will make recommendations about immunizations, preventive care, lab tests and treatments to help the patient stay healthy. Children and parents will both have an opportunity to ask questions and discuss any health-related concerns.
Family doctors are skilled in the unique health and medical needs of children, so they can provide them with both preventive care and care for acute and chronic medical issues to help them enjoy optimal health and wellness while ensuring normal growth and development. Plus, because family doctors have expertise in caring for patients of all ages, they can continue to provide care into adulthood so patients benefit from seeing a doctor whom they trust and who has access to the patient's complete medical history.
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