As parents, we all know it’s important to take our children to the doctor for checkups. Today, I want to explain why going to these wellness visits is so important, and how your child’s pediatrician can help you recognize early signs that your child may need pediatric therapy.
Check Your Child’s Physical Health and Growth
First of all, if you’ve been to a few of these checkups, you know that the nurses and doctor will take a bunch of measurements of your baby or child. They often check:
- Head circumference
When they take these measurements, the pediatrician compares them to the national averages for your child’s age, as well as to the measurements taken at their last visit. This is how the pediatrician can tell if your child is growing at a healthy rate.
Check Your Child’s Development
The pediatrician will also check your child’s development in other ways, often through questions on the forms you fill out before your appointment, and through asking about your child’s behavior and activity level. Some of these questions may seem silly:
- Does your baby smile or babble?
- Are they getting tummy time?
- Can they sit up on their own?
- Does your child eat solid foods?
- Do they draw pictures?
- Do they tell stories or play pretend?
But these types of questions are important because they can help your pediatrician detect early warning signs of a delay in your child’s development. And of course, these visits are great for parents because they give you an opportunity to ask the pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns about your baby or child.
Help Your Child Stay Healthy
Another important thing the pediatrician will do is ensure your child is up-to-date on their recommended vaccines. This is super important because the vaccines will give your child’s immune system the knowledge it needs to be able to fight off harmful germs and viruses if it ever comes into contact with them.
I know it can be a bit heartbreaking—as parents, we want to protect our babies from pain, and getting shots is never a fun time. But it’s important to be brave because you know you’re helping to protect your child from harmful diseases that could really hurt them.
It’s also important to stay up-to-date on these vaccines because your child will need them before they start school, sports, college, and even certain jobs like working in healthcare or the military. So getting just a couple of shots every few months at a wellness visit is much better than having to play catch-up all at once to be able to participate in school, recreational activities, or employment.
Why These Visits Are Vital
Wellness visits are vital for routinely monitoring your child’s health and development. They give you the chance to address little delays fast so they will take less time to correct. When you answer the pediatrician’s questions and discuss your baby’s home life, it helps them put together a fuller picture of your child’s development and growth.
There may be something that you didn’t realize was an indicator of your child’s development, but that the pediatrician will recognize. And they can discuss it with you and explain, “Oh, your baby may need to start physical therapy to build up their strength,” or “Your child may need to work on their communication with a speech therapist,” and so on.
And for your child, the sooner we can start working with them to build up their skills and get them on the right track, the easier it will be for them. That’s why it’s so important to try and catch these warning signs early. If your child’s pediatrician has recommended they start therapy, give us a call today. And if you haven’t taken your baby or child to a wellness visit recently, please go schedule one! They are so important for your child’s overall health.
Call us at (318) 746-1199 today for a free phone screening!