Following the recommended schedule for well-child visits can help protect your child’s long-term health and well-being. These appointments also give you an opportunity to talk to your pediatrician about growth, development, and behavior.
Here are seven questions to help you get the most out of your appointments:
1. Is my child growing and developing at a healthy rate?
At each visit, your pediatrician will measure your child’s height and weight. Babies and toddlers often experience rapid growth, while gaining too much weight may be an issue for older children and teens.
2. Are my child’s vaccines up to date?
Recommended vaccinations protect children from serious diseases, including hepatitis, measles, tetanus, and polio. It’s important to get vaccines on schedule because sometimes it can take multiple doses before a child is fully protected. Make sure you understand what each vaccine protects against, and remember that children age six months and older should receive an annual flu shot.
3. What foods and beverages should my child eat?
Good nutrition is essential for healthy growth and development. For babies and toddlers, you might have questions about breastfeeding or when to introduce solid foods. As children grow up, it’s important to establish healthy eating habits. Ask your doctor about foods and beverages your child should avoid and what to do if you have a picky eater.
4. How can I keep my child safe?
Talk to your pediatrician about steps you can take to child-proof your home, protect kids from exposure to the sun, and protect against infectious diseases. Depending on the age of your children, you might have questions about when it’s time to graduate from a car seat or how much screen time is appropriate.
5. Do you have any concerns about my child’s mental health?
Mental health is important at every age. Whether your child is struggling at school or having trouble making friends, identifying an issue gives your pediatrician a chance to address it. Depression and anxiety are common among children and adolescents, so don’t be afraid to bring up these issues.
6. Ask about any specific concerns you have.
Make a list of your questions before the appointment, and put the most important ones at the top. That way, you won’t forget to ask about something that has been on your mind.
7. When should I schedule our next well-child visit?
Book your next appointment before you go home. You can change the date later, if needed, but scheduling your next visit while you’re at the doctor’s office can help you stay on track.