TMH Living Well: 5 questions for your pediatrician at your next well child check
August 14, 2015
It's back-to-school time and parents are thinking about scheduling necessary appointments, like sports physicals and well child checks for kids. Getting your child a check-up before school starts is a good idea to catch problems that affect learning, like changes in vision. It's also important to make sure your child is up to date on immunizations.
Here are five questions to ask your pediatrician or family medicine doctor during your child's next annual exam:
1. Is my child reaching physical and developmental milestones?
At well child checks, your physician assesses your younger child's fine and gross motor development, speech and language skills and ability to communicate to make sure they are reaching set milestones by a designated age. Your child's body mass index (BMI) for height and weight are checked to make sure they fall in the normal range.
If you have any concerns, don't hesitate to discuss them with your doctor. The sooner delays are identified, the better they can be treated.
2. What can I expect during this next year?
Knowing the milestones for your child's coming year will help you keep track of your child's development and watch for any delays.
"We provide a lot of education of what parents can expect over the next year. Kids grow quickly so it's important to get a routine health screen at least once a year," said Dr. Dr. Kristie Yarmer, pediatrician with The Memorial Hospital Medical Clinic.
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3. Is my child due for immunizations?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your child needs vaccines to protect against 14 diseases that can be serious by age 6. For a list, visit cdc.gov/vaccines. Some parents have concerns about immunizations. If you do, talk with your doctor.
4. Can we have a vision and hearing screen?
While the eye exam your child gets during a well child check is not terribly in-depth, it can help identify a problem with his or her distant vision.
"Vision can change quickly, sometimes even over the summer so you're not even aware of it. Vision can have a huge impact educationally," Yarmer said.
5. Our family history has diabetes and high blood pressure. Will you check for that?
Surprisingly, kids can have high blood pressure and some people develop Type 2 diabetes in childhood.
"A family history is not always predictive of diabetes but it's good to make sure glucose levels are normal," Yarmer said.
It's reassuring to know your child is ready to learn. If it's been a year, it's time to schedule your child's well child check.
TMH Medical Clinic makes it easy to set an appointment. The clinic offers discounted fees for those who qualify and accepts insurance, including Medicaid, Medicare, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Pediatricians are available 8 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Family Medicine Physicians are available by appointment or walk-in the same hours, with extended hours until 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Call 970-826-2400 for an appointment.
This weekly article with tips on living well is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital at Craig – improving the quality of life for the communities we serve through patient-centered healthcare and service excellence.