What are the benefits of well-child visits?
- Prevention. Your child gets scheduled immunizations to prevent illness. You also can ask your primary care provider about nutrition and safety in the home and at school.
- Tracking growth and development. See how much your child has grown in the time since your last visit, and talk with your medical provider about your child’s development. You can discuss your child’s milestones, social behaviors, and learning.
- Raising concerns. Make a list of topics you want to talk about with your child’s primary care provider such as development, behavior, sleep, eating or getting along with other family members. Bring your top three to five questions or concerns with you to talk with your provider at the start of the visit.
- Team approach. Regular visits create strong, trustworthy relationships among primary care provider, parent and child. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends well-child visits as a way for primary care providers and parents to serve the needs of children. This team approach helps develop optimal physical, mental and social health of a child.
What happens during a well-child visit?
During a well-child visit, your primary care provider will:
- Perform a physical exam
- Give the child any necessary shots (immunizations or vaccinations)
- Track how your child is growing and developing
- Talk about illness prevention, diet and physical fitness, and health and safety issues
- Talk about how to handle emergencies and sudden illness.
Make sure your medical provider isn’t doing all the talking. The well-child visit is your best opportunity to bring up any worries about your child’s growth and development, especially if your child is not reaching important milestones. Remember, your provider may be an expert in children’s health, but you are the expert on your child.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions, medical or otherwise. Your child’s medical provider can give you valuable advice on how to promote your child’s learning and development, how to potty train, tips on playground safety, and more.
When should my child go for their well-child visits?
Even children who are perfectly healthy go to the doctor a lot. That’s because the first two years are a crucial time in a child’s growth and development, and your doctor will want to keep close tabs on your child’s progress.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has a recommended schedule of visits for children starting soon after they are born, and continuing to adulthood. [Insurance reimbursements may vary according to your insurance plan; especially coverage for the 1 month and 2 ½ year visits. The Knoxville Hospital & Clinics recommends that parents discuss coverage with their insurance carrier.]
The immunizations and vaccinations your child is scheduled to receive at their well-child visit are listed in the Childhood Immunization Schedule.
Well-Child Visits Schedule
View or print the schedule featured in the following brochure.