Take advantage of the open schedule of summer to get your kids in for their well child checks. You can eliminate two tasks with one effort by getting in before school starts—completing both an annual exam and their sport physicals before practices begin. Getting a well child check each year helps identify any delays or health needs, allowing your provider to treat concerns early, lessening their impact.
“Summer is an ideal time to complete a well child check when there is no school schedule to work around and you have more choices of appointment times,” said Meagan Hillman, PA-C, Physician Assistant at Prowers Medical Center Clinic.
During well child checks your provider reviews height and weight and calculates body mass index (BMI) to ensure your children are growing as expected. Vitals are also checked, including blood pressure, heart rate and breathing, along with a head-to-toe exam. Your child will also get recommended immunizations, if due. It’s the perfect time to discuss any concerns you might have about your child.
“I tell parents to put a piece of paper on their fridge and jot down questions as they come to mind, so they don’t forget to ask. Also, some parents bring their kids to get shots at public health, but we still encourage a well child check so they receive a developmental screen,” Hillman said.
If you have a baby or toddler, you likely know that the well child check is much more frequent. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends babies be seen within 2 to 4 days of birth, then at 1 month, 2 months, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 months old. For toddlers, they recommend well child checks at 2 years and 2 ½ years. From then on, the recommendation is yearly.
A favorite of parents is to see how their young children place on the growth charts. It’s one way providers like to make sure kids are growing well and meeting milestones.
“We don’t just consider how a child is developing physically. We also cover the emotional, educational and social aspects of growth. With older kids, we screen for depression, reproductive health, risk management and safety issues including seat belt and helmet use,” Hillman added.
If your kids are due for their annual well child check, call the Clinic to schedule before school starts. It’s a relief to know that well child exams are covered at 100% by both private insurance and Medicaid—copay free. The Prowers Medical Center Clinic has several providers to choose from. Reach the Clinic at (719) 336-6767.
“What’s great is that when you establish with a provider for a well child check, you know where to go for treatment when they get sick or injured,” Hillman concluded.