Your child’s earliest years are a crucial aspect of their life, shaping who they will eventually become. During this rapidly changing time in their lives, you want to ensure they stay as healthy as possible. The best way to do so is to schedule their annual pediatric appointments, which is critical for various reasons, including tracking their development and keeping them updated on their vaccines.
When Should You Start Making Annual Pediatric Appointments?
Once your child is born, you should visit their pediatric doctor two to four days after bringing the baby home. After your initial appointment, here is a comprehensive schedule of when you should bring in your child to visit their pediatrician:
- One month
- Two months
- Four months
- Six months
- Nine months
- 12 months
- 15 months
- 18 months
- Two years
- Two and a half years
Once a child reaches three years old, they can typically start coming in annually.
Importance of Annual Pediatric Appointments
Annual pediatric appointments are essential to your child’s health, offering several benefits:
1. Track Growth and Development
One of the most important parts of your child’s annual pediatric appointment is for the doctor to track their growth and development. At your appointment, your pediatrician can compare their growth to the year before, discuss notable milestones, and monitor their physical and mental development.
2. Provide Vaccines and Immunizations
Your child’s annual pediatrician appointment is also the best time for them to receive any necessary vaccines and immunizations. Vaccines are critical in protecting your child against serious and life-threatening diseases. Since the majority of vaccines occur before the age of six, we understand how it can be a little overwhelming. Fortunately, the CDC has created a family-friendly vaccine schedule for you to keep track of which vaccines your child should get at each age.
3. Get Allergy Testing
As specialists in pediatric care, ChildSmiles●FamilySmiles also offers allergy testing. Ask about our allergy testing services at your next pediatrician appointment if you notice these symptoms in your children:
- Runny nose
- Itchy eyes or skin
- Digestion issues
- Nasal congestion
As allergies may be life-threatening, it’s essential to be prepared and know the signs of an anaphylactic reaction, such as:
- Confusion and anxiety
- Hives or flushed or pale skin
- Weak or rapid pulse
- Constriction of the airways
- Swollen tongue or throat
4. Discuss Proper Nutrition
A significant part of your annual pediatric appointments is to ensure your child is getting the proper nutrition they need. Your pediatrician can offer advice on what foods are best for your child and how to encourage picky children to eat. Nutrition can also prevent underlying health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. As preventing diseases is always preferable to treating them, nutrition can play a significant role in your child’s health.
What to Expect at a ChildSmiles●FamilySmiles Annual Pediatric Appointment
At ChildSmiles●FamilySmiles, your pediatric appointment may include:
- Comprehensive physical examination
- Questions about any medications, allergies, supplements, or recent procedures
- Checking blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate
- Recording height and weight
- Evaluating reflexes, strength, and flexibility
- Vision and hearing tests
These appointments provide parents the opportunity to ask any questions they may have about general health maintenance and what their children need at each age. A pediatrician can also fill out your child’s physical once they are old enough to participate in sports. Since children are constantly growing and changing, it’s important to have these completed once each year. Our pediatricians at ChildSmiles●FamilySmiles can determine if your child is at an increased risk for injury or if there is a health concern that will affect their ability to participate.
Put Your Child’s Health First
Ensure your child gets some of the highest quality care in New Jersey by choosing ChildSmiles●FamilySmiles. Click here to make an appointment today.