Well-visits are regularly scheduled visits to your doctor to ensure you are healthy and check for signs of disease. Many adults often skip their yearly doctor's exam. Perhaps you are too busy or find yearly well-visits too expensive. While well-visits are important for adults, they are even more important for children, and young children tend to have multiple well-visits within a year. If you have a child, here are just a few reasons why you should make sure they attend all of their well-visits.
Keep Up to Date With Vaccines
Vaccines are usually given during a well-visit. This keeps your child on the appropriate vaccination schedule for their age and ensures that the vaccine is given when they are healthy, promoting the proper development of their immune system. If you only take your child to the doctor's when they are sick, they will be unable to get their vaccines on time.
Develop a Trusting Relationship With Your Child's Pediatrician
If your child trusts their pediatrician, it will be easy for the doctor to examine them and treat them when they are sick. Your child will be more likely to cooperate with a doctor or nurse who they are familiar with, rather than one they don't remember meeting. Bringing your child in when your child is well allows the whole team to work on building that trust. Additionally, it gives your child a chance to explore the office when they are healthy and feeling less defensive.
As your child grows up, they may have health concerns that they do not feel comfortable talking to you about. Having a pediatrician they trust will give them another adult who they can ask questions and get safe, reasonable answers.
Ensure Proper Development
During well-checks, your child's pediatrician will ask you about developmental milestones and take measurements of your child. They will make sure your child is developing physically, mentally, and emotionally. Well-checks are a good way to catch problems early and, if necessary, your child's pediatrician will be a valuable resource for further testing or treatment.
Ideally, you should model healthy behavior for your children by going to your annual well-checks. But even if you are unable to, it is vital that you take your child in for their regularly scheduled well-checks from birth until they are able to go in on their own. If you have questions about your child's schedule or concerns about well-checks, you should consult their pediatrician.