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Children's Health

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Routine Checkups

Routine checkups (usually once a year) allow your child's doctor to keep a close eye on your child's general health and development. You also can discuss any concerns you have at these appointments. Routine dental care is important for your child too.

During the well-child visit, the doctor typically:

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  • Measures your child's weight and height. These measurements are plotted on a growth chart and are compared to previous and later markings to make sure the child is growing as expected.
  • Checks your child's body mass index, blood pressure, hearing, and vision, and examines your child for any visible problems.
  • Reviews your child's immunization record. Needed immunizations are given or scheduled. For more information, see the topics:
  • Talks with your child. For example, the doctor may ask about his or her friends, favorite activities, and most interesting school subjects. From this conversation, the doctor will briefly assess your child's language skills and hearing and also perhaps his or her social skills and other developmental issues.
  • Observes how you and your child interact, to assess emotional and social development. The doctor will ask you questions about your child's behavior, school performance, how your child handles difficulties, and what activities your child is involved in, among others.

Routine checkups are a good time for you to ask about what to expect. Ask your doctor about your child's health, growth, development, or behavior. It may help you to go to your child's checkup with a prepared list of questions(What is a PDF document?).

Sometimes it may be appropriate to have your child spend part of the visit alone with the doctor. This can give your child a chance to talk about issues that he or she has difficulty discussing with the doctor if you are present.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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