Don’t miss these wellness exams

Living in the midst of a pandemic is difficult and the difficulty is amplified when you have children you are worrying about. It is a constant mental struggle for parents trying to decide what is and is not safe in regard to their children. Should we take them inside a restaurant once in a while or is it too risky? Is it ok to take them shopping or should we keep them out of stores? Can the friend they have been dying to see come over to play or should we refrain from socializing outside of our family? These are just a few of the countless questions parents are now asking themselves daily. Another question many parents are struggling with is when should I take my children to the doctor? This is an important one so let’s talk about it!

Many parents fear that their children may catch COVID-19 or another terrible illness while at the pediatrician’s office so they are avoiding going at all. However, this has led to many children missing their very important well child exams and not receiving immunizations on time. Well child exams are a time for the healthcare provider to measure your child’s growth, make sure he or she is developing appropriately and meeting all milestones, and examine your child to ensure his or her body is functioning properly. It is also a great time to address any questions or concerns you may have about your children and their health and/or development. Many well child exams also include important immunizations that your child needs to prevent life-threatening diseases. The typical well child exam and immunization schedule is as follows. Keep in mind that there are circumstances when a child has missed immunizations, followed an alternate schedule, or received various vaccine combinations so immunizations may be due at any well child exam; this is just the typical schedule that we follow. 

Due to how quickly children grow and develop, it is essential to make sure your child is seen for these wellness exams. The only way to detect developmental delays is to assess for development at a well child exam and early intervention for any issues is crucial to ensure your child gets on track. These appointments are also when your child’s healthcare provider assesses for signs of potential chronic health issues such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Again, it is crucial to identify these things early to avoid future health problems.

These are uncertain times we live in and it is understandable that parents may be uneasy bringing their child into a doctor’s office. However, the lifelong effects of things that may go undiagnosed if your child misses his or her well child exam are real. Additionally, if your children miss their immunizations, they are at risk of having one of the life-threatening and devastating diseases that can be prevented with the immunizations. So, while there are many uncertainties for parents in this time, whether or not to bring your children to their well child exams should not be one of them.

Kellie Bishop
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