As the end of summer break nears and school preparations begin, make sure your child heads back to school healthy. To ensure they are in tip-top shape to begin the school year, schedule a well-child visit with your health care provider.
Why well-child visits are important
“It’s important to take your child to their health care provider when they are sick or injured,” says Steven Harmon, DO. “But routine well-care visits may be just as important in the overall comprehensive care and well-being of a child. Also, your child’s school may ask for a copy of their annual well-child visit to keep on file.”
Unlike sick visits, more time is allotted for well-child visits so your child’s health care provider can accomplish the following:
- Physical exam
- Immunization updates
- Tracking growth and development
- Discussing problems before they become serious
- Providing information on health and safety issues
- Providing information on nutrition and physical fitness
- Providing information on how to manage emergencies and illnesses
Your child’s health care provider can also provide guidance on other issues, including:
- Behavioral problems
- Learning problems
- Emotional problems
- Family problems
- Socialization problems
- Puberty and concerns for teenage years
When should well-child visits be scheduled?
Your child’s health care provider will give you a schedule of ages when a well-child visit is suggested. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends well-child visits at the following ages:
- Before a newborn is discharged from the hospital, or at 48 to 72 hours of age
- 3 to 5 days
- 2 to 4 weeks
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 12 months
- 15 months
- 18 months
- 24 months
- 30 months
- 3 years
- 4 years
- 5 years
- Once a year, between ages 6 and 21
Are well-child visits covered by insurance?
Yes, by almost all health plans. Most health plans must cover a set of preventive health services, including shots and screening tests for children at no cost. This includes Marketplace and Medicaid coverage. These services are free only when delivered by a doctor or other provider in your plan’s network. Check with your insurance before scheduling an appointment.
To find a doctor or schedule an appointment, visit Steward DoctorFinder™.