Blink and you’ll miss it. People say that because kids really do grow up fast. Well-child visits help ensure you’re not missing anything when it comes to their health and development.
“Parents sometimes think these well-child visits are just for immunizations, but these appointments are about much more than shots and they’re important at every age,” said Dr. Robert Kemp, MD, CHI St. Alexius Health Primary Care provider. “These are crucial opportunities to make sure growth is on target and catch any health and developmental issues early.”
Infants - by 1 month, then 2, 4, 6, 9 and 12 months
Toddlers - 15 and 18 months, 2, 2 ½ and 3 years
Children - Yearly through age 18
At each visit, your provider will perform a complete exam, including listening to your child’s heart, breath and stomach sounds. Newborns are checked for jaundice, which is yellow skin tone indicating that a baby’s blood contains too much bilirubin.
Overall growth is tracked by measuring height, weight and body mass index (BMI). The BMI helps identify obesity early so preventive steps can be taken. Screening tests, such as hearing and vision, are also done periodically. All this data is recorded in your child’s medical record.
Immunizations are an important part of many visits, because vaccines help protect children from many diseases that used to be common, such as tetanus, mumps and whooping cough.
“We have vaccines for 14 serious illnesses, from flu to chicken pox, and these are all routine. If you’re worried about a vaccine’s safety, be sure to speak up. We can answer any of your questions,” said Dr. Kemp.
“I assure you that every recommended vaccine has been studied, tested and proven safe and effective. These shots have been saving lives and preventing suffering for decades.”
During the visit, your provider will talk to you about what to expect at your child’s stage of growth, and cover important topics like sleep, safety and childhood diseases.
Special attention is paid to developmental milestones, which are things most children can do by a certain age. Think of them as all those firsts – the first smile, word and step. Tracking progress helps providers pick up on any delays.
“Keep in mind this is also a chance for parents to ask questions, from newborn sleeping habits to adolescent behavioral issues,” said Dr. Kemp. “Your provider can be a source of trusted information and reassurance – because parenting can be challenging from time to time.”
To make it easier for families to schedule their well-child visits, CHI St. Alexius Health is offering two Saturday Well-Child Visit clinics. To make an appointment, call 701.572.7651.
Convenient Saturday Clinics
January 7th and February 11th
8 am - 2 pm
Infants to age 18
Call (701) 572-7651