When your child was a baby, you brought them to the pediatrician for frequent check-ups to be sure they were developing normally and received the vaccinations, tests, and other care they needed. Now that your child is older, they don’t need quite so many visits to the doctor when they’re feeling and acting healthy, but they still need regular well-child exams.
Our diverse and knowledgeable pediatricians and medical providers at Kids & Teens Medical Group recommend that all children and teens see their doctor at least once a year for a well-child exam, and more frequently when they’re a baby or toddler. Here’s why.
Just as you needed to keep tabs on your developing fetus through tests and ultrasounds and bring your baby to the doctor for check-ups and vaccines, you need to bring older children to see us so they benefit from regular evaluations, too. At each stage of life, children need to meet certain milestones in their development.
During a younger child’s visit, we evaluate their:
Your older child’s or teen’s well-child exam allows you to bring up any issues that your child may be having in school or in their lives. Meeting with your us regularly builds trust and allows you to feel comfortable enough to share your concerns or worries and get the advice you need to better understand your child and their health.
Throughout your child’s growth period, they should meet certain physical milestones, too. We examine their bodies to be sure they’re growing on schedule and that their weight is healthy for their height.
We evaluate their:
We also check the health of their eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.
As part of a well-child visit, we also administer your child’s or teen’s vaccinations or booster shots. Vaccinations protect your child against diseases that once caused extreme illness and even death, including:
If your child is old enough, we may also administer a COVID-19 vaccine. Children aged 11 and up may also be eligible for a vaccine that protects against the human papillomavirus (HPV). With numerous strains, HPV is the top cause of cervical cancer in women, and can cause other types of cancers, including throat cancer.
Whenever anybody at any age develops a medical condition, catching it early is better than catching it late. Early treatment cures many diseases and conditions, or may prevent them from worsening.
During a well-child exam, we may conduct tests that let us know what’s going on inside your child’s body, such as:
If we suspect that they may have a medical condition, we may recommend further testing or treatment, or we may refer them to a specialist.
Parenting a child can be stressful. You wonder if your child is healthy and if their behavior is normal. During a well-child visit, you can ask us any questions you have about your child or teen. We also provide you with information about their stage of life and what changes you might see as they grow older.
For instance, as your child enters their teen years, you may notice that they’re sleeping longer. In most cases, this is just a natural part of their development and shouldn’t cause any worries.
As your child gets older, they may have questions about their health and development, too. Adolescence, in particular, can be a confusing time. We encourage your child to ask questions, so they get the science-backed information they need to understand themselves and take care of their bodies.
To book a well-child exam, contact the Kids & Teens Medical Group office nearest you. We have offices in Pasadena, West Hills, Agoura Hills, San Fernando, Northridge, Arcadia, La Cañada Flintridge, Beverly Hills, Van Nuys, and Whittier, California.