Well-Child Checkups: Age 2 to 18
Your child's doctor checks the same general things at every checkup, but there are specific details they look at depending on your child's age.
- Growth and nutrition: Weight, height, BMI, and blood pressure checks start at age 3, and cholesterol tests are done between the ages of 9 and11 and at age 17.
- Development: The doctor will inquire about your child's speech, coordination, strength, playing habits, learning, physical activity, behavior in school, sleep habits, and other things.
- Oral Health : Checkups include an examination of your child's mouth and teeth to check his risk of getting cavities. If needed, your child will be referred to a pediatric dentist for treatment.
- Hearing: Screening tests start between the ages of 4 and 5.
- Vision: Screening tests happen at every wellness visit. Your child gets a thorough eye exam around age 3 or 4.
- Vaccines: The type and timing can vary, so talk with your doctor.
Safety counseling: The doctor will provide counseling on such things as safety at home, away from home, and in the car. For younger children, this can involve preventing poisoning and talking to strangers. By school age, your child's doctor will talk about bullying and screen time. Teenagers talk with their doctors about their home life, extracurricular activities, alcohol use, drug use, sex and STD prevention, and technology safety.
Other Child Health Benefits
You and your child also have other benefits under health care reform:
- Your children must be covered by your health plan if you choose to include them. This applies even if a child has a pre-existing condition.
- The amount of money you pay out-of-pocket for medical care and prescriptions is capped. This means there is a maximum amount you'll have to pay for care your receive from doctors and hospitals that participate with your health plan. You'll have less financial worry stemming from paying to treat a child with a serious illness.
- Your children's care will not be limited. That's because health reform did away with yearly and lifetime limits for insurance coverage. This means that children with a chronic illness can get care as long as it is needed.
- Your children will get essential health benefits. All new plans must cover certain items and services, including doctor's office visits, prescription medications, screenings and vaccines, services to help with injuries or disabilities, and child dental and vision care.