Children 3-year-old and up should be seen annually for a health checkup. With the start of a new school year, it’s a good time to schedule your child’s annual physical exam. No matter how healthy your child may seem, physicals are important, not just for the sake of school forms, but also for your child’s health. In this post, we’ll look at the role annual visits play in your child’s development and well-being.
Why An Annual Physical Exam Is Important For Your Child’s Health
Children experience incredible growth and drastic changes over the course of a year, in terms of physical, social and psychological development. Parents also experience a steep learning curve as their children develop, and it can be hard to keep up. Even if your child is healthy on all fronts, a pediatrician is able to pass on vital information, resources and guidance that can help parents provide the best environment and care for their kids. Where books and magazines offer generic information often based on parenting fads and trends that come and go, pediatric doctors offer guidance based on years of experience treating children, a wealth of medical knowledge and evaluating your child in person. This tailored guidance and support can help parents and guardians mold children into healthy young adults as they navigate their developmental milestones.
At your annual visit, your pediatrician will welcome any questions you have about your child, your parenting approach and any safety concerns you have. The better the doctor gets to know your child year after year, the better they can diagnose a potential problem.
While your child may seem healthy when they come to their annual checkup, physical exams and testing may pick up on concerns that aren’t showing symptoms. Younger children, especially, may not be able to communicate or understand if they’re experiencing problems with their hearing or vision. By screening your child’s physical health and using national standards, they are able to detect red flags before they become bigger health problems.
What Happens At An Annual Physical Exam?
To screen your child for any health problems or risk factors, your pediatrician will follow the standards set by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at their annual physical exam. They’ll measure your child’s height, weight and blood pressure, and test their hearing and vision. Having their height and weight measured every year allows the pediatrician to look at your child’s speed of growth. Healthy growth velocity is a good indicator of overall general health.
At your annual visit, your child will be examined from head to toe to check for any areas of concern. Through this process, doctors are able to detect scoliosis, abnormal heart rhythms, swollen lymph nodes, enlarged organs, tumors and more. A physical exam is crucial to safeguarding your child’s health.
You may be asked about your child’s sleep habits, nutrition, social skills, and academic achievements or difficulties. These play a role in their development and are important in the doctor’s overall evaluation of your child’s health.
Your pediatric doctor will review your child’s vaccination records to determine whether any new vaccines or booster shots are needed. Even if your child has had all their shots, new medical advances are made year to year. Your pediatrician may recommend new preventative vaccines to better protect against bacteria and viruses. At the end of your annual visit, your pediatrician will open up to any questions you have, and pass on expert advice. They can also discuss milestones they’re expecting to see around the time of the next visit. If any concerns are detected, your pediatrician will initiate a follow-up plan or refer your child to the right specialist for further evaluation and treatment.
Schedule Your Child’s Checkup with Us
Choosing the right pediatrician for your children means visiting a facility that cares about families and puts children first. Pediatric Associates of Dallas and P.A.D. Plano strive for excellence and quality care with the best pediatrics facilities in North Texas. The team at Pediatric Associates of Dallas makes doctor visits fun for kids and convenient for parents. Schedule your annual physical exam with the best pediatrician in Plano today!