What Happens at a Well Child Visit?

Sep 09, 2022
What Happens at a Well Child Visit?
Many children visit the pediatrician more often when they’re well than when they’re sick. Well child visits are preventive, checking on your child’s health and development to assure they stay well and on track for their age.

Your child’s pediatric care starts at the moment of birth. Within the first five minutes of life, a doctor assesses their general health. Within the first two years of your child’s life, they see a pediatrician for well child visits 10 times, according to the schedule recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Your child may need a pediatrician during illness too. Establishing a medical care relationship with our team of physicians at Abdow Friendship Pediatrics in Rockville, Maryland, ensures that your child receives the best continuity of care. 

Our doctors get to know your child through well visits. With this knowledge, they provide better care, and your child benefits from familiar faces, making the experience of going to the doctor more positive. 

Knowing what happens at a well child visit helps you prepare your young one for the experience. We’ve compiled a brief overview for your convenience. 

The reasons for well child visits 

The rate at which your child grows is astonishing. While the differences between a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old might be minor with some children, the differences between a newborn and 3-year-old will never be confused. This is one reason well child visits start with a busy schedule, winding down to an annual event after your child’s third birthday. 

It’s not just about physical health. These appointments provide valuable insight into your child’s development intellectually and emotionally as well. Overall wellness depends on a balance of all three aspects, and there are also general age-related milestones that may give clues that your child needs further testing or treatment. Using a single practice like ours keeps records in one place and deviations are easier for your doctor to spot. 

What happens at a well child visit? 

Typically, a well visit starts with vital signs including: 

  • Height and weight
  • Blood pressure
  • Respiration and heart rates
  • Body mass calculation

These measurements combine with general observation of your child to gauge development. Your physician asks questions about your child’s health since their last visit, any changes they’ve experienced, or illnesses they’ve had. 

A full physical commonly follows, checking a wide range of health and developmental indicators. The specifics of these checks change with your child’s age. 

Immunizations and vaccinations are also an important part of well child visits. Following the vaccine schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can be complex since some vaccines require multiple injections spaced over time. The team at Abdow Friendship Pediatrics keeps up with that for you.

Your child’s visit usually ends with a discussion. Your pediatrician may make suggestions for diet, exercise, or developmental activities to support their growth. This is an excellent time for you to ask questions about aspects of your child’s health, and it’s a good idea to write these down ahead of your appointment so you remember to ask when you have the opportunity. 

A well child visit helps to keep your child’s well-being on track. It can help avoid illness by catching potential problems in their early stages, minimizing their impact. 

Make sure your child’s health care is up-to-date now. Schedule a well child exam by calling Abdow Friendship Pediatrics or booking an appointment online today.