At Hawaii Pediatrics, we know that the health and wellbeing of your child is your top priority -- and it’s ours, as well! Our pediatric physicians are proud to be a part of your family’s experience through every stage of a child’s development. With every well child visit that you schedule, we’ll be here to make sure that your child is on track for success.
What is a Well Child Visit?
Well child visits are an integral part of monitoring a child’s healthy development. A scheduled well child appointment is an important time for a pediatrician to make sure that the child is growing and developing at a healthy rate, but also for parents to ask questions that inevitably come up along the way.
The very first well child exam is typically scheduled just a few days after a baby is born. From here on out, children will continue to attend well child visits until they reach adulthood.
The Importance of Scheduling Well Child Appointments
While every child’s development happens on a unique timeline, there are milestones to track that help a physician to monitor a child’s overall health. A well child exam is an opportunity for your pediatrician to check your child’s physical health, but also to look into their emotional and social development, too.
A well child appointment is important for all children, including those with special health care needs that see other specialists regularly. A well child visit is an opportunity to start a dialogue with your pediatrician regarding your child’s development. These conversations may include reviewing exciting milestones, addressing potential concerns, or creating solutions for challenges you’ve faced at home.
These appointments are important for monitoring a child’s growth, but they’re also a chance for parents to learn as much as possible about how to support their child through different ages and phases. Your pediatrician can help you to know what to look for when it comes to growth milestones.
What to Expect During a Well Child Exam
During a well child exam, there are some basic measurements and evaluations that a pediatrician will perform. These are done to make sure that a child is growing at a healthy rate and reaching the appropriate milestones.
The health care team will typically conduct a physical head-to-toe examination of the child to track growth and make note of any delays. Measurements taken during this exam often include a child’s weight and height.
Typically, a well child visit is a time when hearing and vision screens are carried out as well. The earlier that a pediatrician can recognize any issue with sensory development, the more quickly remedies can be put in place to help.
The well child appointment is a great time to have immunizations updated. Depending on the age of the child, these may be required for school attendance. They can happen in a series of appointments over time.
Once screens, exams, and evaluations are complete, this appointment becomes a conversation between parents and the pediatrician. It’s a great time to not only get updated on your child’s overall health, but also to discuss potential ways you can improve care at home or address any issues that have been noted during the exam.
Conversations that Make All the Difference
Keeping communication open and honest with your pediatrician regarding your child’s development, growth delays, issues, or milestones is vital. Even if your child is seemingly healthy, well child visits are a good time to take proactive steps as you look forward to their continued growth.
Early well child visits tend to involve conversations around gross motor skills and any health concerns noted during infancy. As children grow, a pediatrician’s conversations with parents evolve to include emotional and social health topics.
Parents should feel comfortable raising any and all issues, questions, or concerns with their child’s pediatrician. A relationship of trust allows parents and pediatricians to work in tandem for the greater good of a child’s health and development.
It’s common for pediatricians to offer advice, along with professional resources and services during a well child visit, too.
A Typical Health Care Schedule for Well Child Visits
At Hawaii Pediatrics, we understand that every child and family’s needs are different. With that being said, we do recommend scheduling well child visits at a predetermined series of age milestones so that we can best monitor your child’s health and development.
Follow-up appointments may differ, depending on the child’s specific needs. In between well child visits, families are encouraged to call their health care provider any time a child seems ill or when there are concerns about their development overall.
The first well child visit is typically scheduled two to three days after the baby comes home from the hospital. The subsequent visit following this first appointment happens around one month of age.
From here, appointments are generally scheduled out for children at the following milestones:
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 12 months
- 15 months
- 18 months
- 2 years
- 2.5 years
- 3 years Following a child’s 3-year well child appointment, Hawaii Pediatrics recommends scheduling an exam annually.