Many parents associate doctors only with illness and do not take their children for a regular checkup otherwise. This is not very advisable as in the long run it may cause major health issues. As a parent, looking after your child’s health and healthy development is something that is paramount and regular visits to the paediatrician is a part of that. The aim of regular checkups is to prevent an illness or disease from happening in the first place.
There are many questions about medical checkups for kids like its necessity and frequency. Regular appointments with their paediatrician are all the more important post the Covid pandemic so that the doctor can monitor how your child is progressing. During the pandemic, visits of children to the doctor dropped significantly and they missed out on essential checkups and vaccinations. The fact is that the importance of health checkup cannot be undermined especially in the case of children who are in the growing phase and need to be monitored so that they do not land up in a situation that can hamper it.
Importance of Health Checkup
Regular checkups are extremely important for kids as they monitor your child’s progress as they grow into a healthy young adult. They should start soon after birth and continue into adulthood. These visits need to be more frequent when they are kids and can gradually reduce as they grow older. It is the best form of preventive care.
- Development and growth
- Team spirit
It is important for all children to get the immunisation shots on time to prevent them from contracting any dangerous illness. Also, proper nutrition and regular vision and hearing checks are important preventive actions which will ensure that your child will grow up to be a healthy adult.
When you take your child for regular checkups, the doctor will check his/her growth and development since their last visit. That is the best way of checking whether your child is reaching their developmental milestones on time or not.
Regular health checkups allow you to ask the doctor all the questions that you have regarding your child’s health and development. It will also ascertain whether your child is healthy and for discussing any concerns you may have about your child’s health. Make sure that you have a list ready regarding all the questions you may have about your child’s nutrition, behaviour, development, exercise and sleep. That way you won’t miss out on anything and can make most use of your appointment time.
Regular visits to the doctor help you to build a bond with your child’s paediatrician. There is better communication regarding the best interests of your child. This helps in your child’s physical and mental development.
What to Expect During a Health Checkup
Some parents feel that medical checkups aren’t really necessary unless their child is sick but actually these checkups are necessary to keep your child from falling sick. Here is what you can expect from a routine checkup for your child.
- Before you and your child actually meet the doctor, a nurse or medical assistant will check your child’s vital signs. Their oxygen level, heart rate and temperature will be checked. This determines whether your child is well or not and also helps the doctor to diagnose any underlying issues during the appointment.
- Your child will be weighed and measured to assess their BMI. This determines whether your child is a healthy height and weight and if they are at par with the normal growth curve.
- You will receive percentile information for their height, weight and circumference of their head to show how their size compares with their peers.
- During a medical checkup, the doctor will first carry out a thorough physical exam from head to toe. Your child’s eyes, ears, heart, lungs and skin will be checked at this time. If you have raised any concerns about their health, the doctor will especially evaluate those areas to check for problems.
- After that, the child will be administered standard immunisations and vaccinations that are scheduled. These give protection to your child from several of the serious childhood diseases like measles, mumps and polio to name a few. The doctor can also answer any questions you may have regarding vaccinations.
- The doctor will also track the child’s physical and mental growth.
- The doctor will then discuss some crucial subjects pertaining to the child like illness prevention, diet, physical activity and social skills as well as dealing with emergencies and sudden health changes in your child.
- At the end, you can ask the doctor any questions that you may have during the appointment. Though a doctor has experience in handling children’s health, you have the experience and understanding of your own child. So, if you think that something is unusual with your child, you must discuss it with the doctor.
Advantages of Regular Health Checkups
- Regular health checkups are not only important for your kid’s health, it also gives them a chance to interact with doctors and nurses and get comfortable with them. Children who come in regularly for health checkups are less nervous around medical staff.
- Annual checkups protect your child from illnesses, track your child’s growth and detect developmental problems early.
- Parents get the opportunity to discuss their child’s eating and sleeping patterns with the doctor and can get tips to improve their child’s daily schedule. They can also recommend lifestyle changes if they feel that the things you are doing might affect their health.
- Regular checkups are not just about immunisations and vaccinations and measuring their height and weight. A lot of developmental disabilities can be assessed and detected during checkups. Intellectual disabilities like Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and difficulties with language can be monitored and detection at an early stage can be managed better.
- Regular checkups also enable assessment of growth. Doctors compare your child’s data with the norm to see if there is anything to worry about. Growth failure can indicate heart, gastrointestinal and hormonal issues which can be treated well in time.
- Annual checkups are vital for preventive medical care and should never be missed.
Recommended Health Checkup Schedule for Kids
To make scheduling these visits easier, you could follow this timeline for your kid’s routine health exams. Babies should be seen 3 to 5 days after their birth and then in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th, and 12th months. Toddlers should go for a regular health checkup at 15,18, 24 and 30 months. By the time your kid is 3 years old, they should come for an annual checkup.
The advantages of regular health checkup cannot be undermined and can be responsible for your kid leading a happy, healthy and normal life. It’s not something to be done when your child is sick but rather to prevent them from falling sick. If you have any questions regarding their importance and impact on your kid’s health and development, contact the EuroKids website for comprehensive information.
The information provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice. EuroKids encourages you to consult with a qualified healthcare professional for any health concerns you may have. The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.