When your child begins school, it’s time for your child to begin having school physicals by a pediatrician. School physicals are a great way to help ensure the continuing health of your child. They should be performed every year to make sure your child stays healthy.
Regular school physicals can help identify, prevent, and treat acute and chronic diseases including allergies, asthma, heart issues, and more. When medical issues are identified early, your child has a chance to regain health before school begins.
During your child’s school physical, your pediatrician will:
- Perform a comprehensive physical examination
- Check your child’s respiration, eyes, nose, throat, and ears
- Perform a vision and hearing screening
- Record your child’s height, weight, blood pressure, pulse, and temperature
Immunizations are another vitally important part of your child’s school physical. In fact, immunizations are required for your child to attend school. You must also show proof that your child is current on immunizations. Your pediatrician can give you the documentation you need.
According to the Centers for Disease Control or CDC, recommended and required immunizations from birth to age 18 are:
- Hepatitis B
- Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis
- Haemophilus influenza type B
- Pneumococcal conjugate
- Measles, mumps, rubella
- Hepatitis A
- Human papillomavirus
- Meningococcal conjugate
If your child wants to play a sport, a sports physical may be combined with the school physical. A sports physical helps determine whether your child is healthy enough to play a sport.
During a sports physical, your pediatrician will also check your child’s balance, reflexes, flexibility, muscle strength, and breathing, to determine how your child might react while under physical stress.
Schools, sports, and exposure to other students provide a breeding ground for illness. Regular school and sports physicals, immunizations, and early treatment can help your child stay healthy during the school years and beyond. To find out more about school physicals, call your pediatrician today.
Find out more about well-child checkups and why they are crucial for your child’s health.
From the moment your baby is born, you want to give them everything. You also want to ensure they have everything they need to grow up healthy and strong. That’s where well-child visits come in. These checkups with your pediatrician allow them to check up and monitor your child’s health when they are growing fast and reaching one developmental milestone after another. These well-child visits help your child stay healthy and detect issues early on.
But My Child Is Healthy. Do They Still Need a Checkup?
Pediatrician visits aren’t just for sick kids. In fact, healthy children still need to visit their pediatrician regularly for wellness checkups to ensure they stay healthy. After all, these visits are the best way for your child’s medical team to monitor their health and development and catch problems early on. During your child’s well-child checkup, your pediatrician will evaluate your child’s health, growth and development.
How Often Do Wellness Checkups Occur?
How often your child visits their pediatrician will depend on their age. While you can easily find the American Academy of Pediatrics’ well-child care visit schedule online, for easy reference, your child should come in for a wellness checkup at,
- Three-five days old
- One month old
- Two months old
- Four months old
- Six months old
- Nine months old
- 12 months old
- 15 months old
- 24 months old
- 30 months old
- Three years old
Once your child reaches three years old, they only need to come in once a year for wellness checkups.
What Is Involved in a Wellness Checkup?
When your child comes into their pediatrician’s office, they will first check and record their height, weight and vital signs (e.g., heart rate; blood pressure). Your pediatrician will also go through your child’s medical history and family history to understand their current health and any preexisting conditions.
From there, your pediatrician will perform a comprehensive physical evaluation of your child, checking everything from reflexes and nerve function to the heart and lungs. During these wellness checkups, your pediatrician may also administer certain vaccines to keep your child safe and healthy and perform additional screenings such as hearing, vision and behavioral screenings to check for vision or hearing loss, ADHD or other behavioral problems.
A pediatrician isn’t here just to provide sick care to children; they are also here to provide preventive care such as well-child visits to support your child’s optimal health to prevent illnesses and injuries. Call your pediatrician to schedule your child’s next well-child visit.
Is your child acting up? Here’s how a pediatrician can help.
Poor grades, fighting with others, lashing out at parents—If you find yourself dealing with these issues, no doubt you’re concerned about your child’s behaviors. Whether the teachers have complained or you’ve seen these issues in your household, it’s essential to address these concerns with your pediatrician.
Pediatricians and Behavioral Health
While a pediatrician is there to provide your child with medical care, which means that they are focused on physical health, that doesn’t mean they can’t recognize behavioral, mental or emotional issues. Since pediatricians often spend the most time with your children and have seen them grow up through the years, they are often the first to spot problems. That’s why you must have a long-standing pediatrician you know and trust.
When to Be Concerned
It’s natural for a child to be sad when they get sick or lose something important to them or a date with a friend gets postponed; however, if your child is dealing with recurring emotional and behavioral issues that are impacting their daily life, well-being and routine, then it may be time to speak with your pediatrician. Behavioral health concerns that may require a further evaluation with a pediatrician include,
- Anger and irritability
- Outbursts and temper tantrums
- Defying adults and acting out
- Harmful behavior, whether harming themselves or others
- Avoiding social interactions
- Trouble focusing and a drop in academic performance
- Changes in mood
- Sadness or hopelessness that lasts more than two weeks
- Thoughts of suicide
- Stealing, lying and other risky behaviors
How a Pediatrician Can Help
There are many factors a pediatrician will take into account when a child comes in for a behavioral health assessment. Certain factors include,
Any changes to your child’s environment could impact their behavioral health, leading to these problematic behaviors and habits. It’s essential to take all aspects and factors into account so that we can provide the proper diagnosis and treatment plan to help manage behavioral issues. From learning disabilities and separation anxiety to autism and ADHD, a pediatrician can help your child cope with many behavioral health problems.
Yes, kids will be kids, but that doesn’t mean you should let recurring or problematic behaviors slide. If you are concerned about your child’s behavioral health, it’s time you turned to a pediatrician to discuss behavioral health options.
Get the facts on your child’s ideal diet and more.
We know how challenging it can be for kids to get all the nutrients they need from diet alone, especially if your child has food allergies, dietary restrictions or is simply a picky eater. We’ve compiled the top questions about childhood nutrition. If you have questions, your pediatrician can provide additional info and support.
When Can I Start To Introduce Solid Foods Into My Baby’s Diet?
You should begin to incorporate solid foods into your baby’s diet at around 6 months old. By 7-8 months, your child should be eating a lot more solid foods, from veggies and fruits to yogurt, protein and whole grains. Let your child sample one food at a time, which is also the best way to spot any food allergies. Talk with your pediatrician if your child develops a rash or other problems after consuming an allergenic food.
How Much Water Should My Child Consume?
It’s important for everyone to stay hydrated, and that includes children, too. A good rule of thumb is for your child to consume as many eight-ounce glasses of water as their age. For example, if your child is six years old they should consume six eight-ounce glasses of water. Of course, if your child is out in the sun or playing sports it’s important that they consume more water. Fruit juices and sodas are not considered a good alternative for ensuring your child gets enough fluids every day. Water is always the best and healthiest choice.
Is It Okay for My Child To Eat the Same Thing Every Day?
When it comes to your child’s diet it’s best to spice things up and add variety and rotation to daily meals. Sure, there may be some foods that your child just loves more than others, but it’s important that they are getting a good balance and mix of healthy fats, protein, fiber and complex carbs.
I’m Concerned About My Child’s Weight. Now What?
If you are worried about your child’s recent weight gain or that they aren’t eating enough, you should talk with your pediatrician about the best ways to help them manage their weight through proper diet and exercise. We can provide effective solutions and advice for how to tweak your child’s current diet to support their weight gain or loss needs.
These are baseline numbers that may fluctuate based on certain factors, so it’s important to speak with your child’s pediatrician to determine your child’s own dietary needs.
Learn more about developmental and behavioral disorders in children.
A growing child can greatly benefit from visiting their pediatrician regularly for routine checkups. No, a child doesn’t have to be sick to visit the doctor. These regular wellness visits can help our pediatrician spot issues such as developmental delays and behavioral disorders that require special care and treatment. Here’s what you should know about common developmental and behavioral problems in kids and how a pediatrician can help,
Types of Developmental Disorders
Developmental disorders fall under the categories of,
- Cognitive (e.g., mental retardation; learning disabilities)
- Motor (e.g., cerebral palsy; muscular dystrophy; spinal atrophies)
- Behavior (e.g., anxiety disorders; autism; ADHD)
- Vision, hearing and speech (e.g., delayed language acquisition; hearing or vision impairments)
Some of the most common types of developmental disorders in children include,
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Cerebral palsy
- Genetic disorders
- Intellectual disabilities
- Spina bifida
- Down syndrome
Signs of Developmental and Behavioral Disorders
Warning signs and when they appear seem to vary from child to child. Some parents notice developmental delays as early as infancy, while others may not notice these concerns until they start school. Some warning signs include,
- Difficulty learning and academic troubles
- Delayed speech, unclear speech or difficulties communicating with others
- Social withdrawal
- Delay in crawling, sitting up or walking
- Has trouble completing everyday tasks such as grooming, washing hands or getting dressed
- Has trouble focusing on an activity
- Intense or extreme behaviors such as aggression, anxiety, irritability or frequent temper tantrums
When to See a Doctor
If you notice any of these delays, we understand how concerning this can be. The good news is that you don’t immediately need to run to a specialist for help. All you have to do is turn to your pediatrician for an evaluation. A pediatrician can perform a thorough assessment to determine if your child may be displaying signs of a developmental or behavioral disorder. Your pediatrician may recommend more in-depth testing, which may require turning to a mental health professional for an accurate diagnosis.
Suppose your child displays behavioral issues, or you notice that they aren’t reaching certain developmental milestones. In that case, it’s important to speak with your pediatrician at their next appointment or to call their office to find out if you should bring your child in for an evaluation.
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