You know your child needs to see a pediatrician when they get sick, but did you know it’s just as important for them to have regular medical visits when they’re healthy? Bringing your child to scheduled well-child exams helps ensure they’re developing as expected, makes it easy to address any health concerns early, and provides you an opportunity to ask questions about your child.
For healthy children, board-certified pediatrician Rainilda Valencia, MD, Micaela Marin-Tucker, PA-C, and Megan Reynolds, C-PNP, of Valencia Pediatrics in Victorville, California, recommend you bring your child in for well-child exams and developmental screenings at regularly scheduled intervals, depending on their age and health.
Read on to understand how often your child should get a pediatric well-child exam.
What can I expect at a well-child exam?
Well-child exams are the best way to track your child’s overall wellness and development over the years. During the exam, Dr. Valencia checks your child’s height and weight and performs a full physical examination.
This ensures your child is meeting physical milestones and is healthy. If your child has any potential health or developmental concerns, these appointments help us catch them early.
You can also expect Dr. Valencia to review your child’s medical history and invite you to discuss any questions you have about your child’s development. If your child is in need of any vaccines, Dr. Valencia can also give them to your child at their well-child exam.
How often should children get well-child exams?
The frequency of well-child visits depends on your child’s age and health status. Most children have more visits in their first few years of life, tapering off to fewer visits as they grow older.
Our providers also recommend your child come in for developmental screenings at specific times until age five. At these visits, Dr. Valencia and our team monitor and assess your child’s physical, cognitive, and emotional development.
Birth to one year old
As a newborn, your infant should get their first exam within the first week of birth. After that, Dr. Valencia ideally recommends your child get exams after turning one month, two months, four months, six months, nine months, and one year old.
It’s also recommended that your child attend their first developmental screening at nine months old.
One to three years old
After getting their exam when turning one year of age, your child should ideally get additional well-child exams at 15 months, 18 months, 24 months, 30 months, and 36 months.
During this time period, we recommend your child also have developmental screenings at 18, 24, and 30 months.
Three to five years old
At age three, your child can typically reduce their well-child exam visits to once a year. Your child will still get developmental screenings at this age, but they’ll be briefer and performed as part of their well-child visit.
Age five and older
Starting at age five, your child usually can attend one well-child exam every year around their birthday. They don’t typically need any further developmental assessments.
If your child has special needs or needs additional monitoring for any reason, Dr. Valencia might recommend a customized schedule where your child has more frequent well-child exams or developmental screenings. Our team lets you know what schedule they recommend for your child.
If your child is due for a well-child exam or in need of a new pediatrician, now is the perfect time to schedule a visit with us. For comprehensive care from a warm, experienced staff, make an appointment at Valencia Pediatrics today by calling 442-204-0019.