Children change quickly as they grow up, and watching your child develop is one of the most exciting parts of being a parent. As your child gets older, it’s important to make sure they’re continuing to thrive.
The easiest way to ensure your child is healthy and on track with their development is with a well-child exam. By starting every year with a well-child exam at Valencia Pediatrics in Victorville, California, you can have peace of mind that your child is on track as well as address any issues early on that are getting in the way of your child’s overall wellness.
Board-certified pediatrician Rainilda Valencia, MD, explains why a well-child exam is important, and what to expect during your child’s appointment.
What is a well-child exam?
Unlike a sick visit to Valencia Pediatrics to treat your child’s illness, well-child exams take place when your child is healthy. At these visits, Dr. Valencia, Micaela Marin-Tucker, PA-C, and Megan Reynolds, C-PNP evaluate your child’s overall health and development.
During a well-child visit, Dr. Valencia ensures your child is growing properly, hitting age-appropriate developmental milestones, and is in good overall physical health. Well-child visits are also the perfect time for you to bring up any questions or concerns you have about your child’s development.
Well-child visits are a form of preventive health care, which means they identify any concerns about your child’s health or development early on. This allows Dr. Valencia to identify problems quickly and develop a treatment plan before they become a serious concern.
How often does my child need a well-child exam?
The frequency of your child’s well-child exams depends on their age and overall health. Healthy infants and toddlers develop quickly, so they should see Dr. Valencia every few months.
Healthy school-aged children can have an appointment annually. If your child has a medical condition, our providers may need to monitor them more frequently. Dr. Valencia often recommends more frequent visits for children with special medical needs, based on their individual treatment plan.
What happens at a well-child exam?
What happens at your child’s well-child exam varies based on their age. Generally, though, you can expect our providers to do some or all of the following at your child’s exam:
Review your child’s development and medical history
Initially, Dr. Valencia begins the exam by discussing your child’s overall development and health with you, including reviewing their medical history. This is also an opportunity for you to share any observations about your child’s development and raise any questions or concerns you have.
A physical examination
At the exam, our providers take and record your child’s height and weight and perform a full physical exam to assess your child’s overall health. This includes listening to their heart and lungs, evaluating the health of their ears, nose, and throat, and testing their reflexes, physical strength, and skin health.
A developmental assessment
If your child is under age five, our team assesses your child’s overall development to ensure they’re meeting developmental milestones. This is done in addition to the developmental screenings your child gets with Dr. Valencia from ages 9-30 months.
If your child is due to receive any vaccines, the well-child visit is an ideal time to get them.
When your child’s family history, health, or past diagnosis warrants it, our providers do additional health screenings to evaluate your child’s health. This can include doing blood work or performing screenings during the visit.
To start the new year on the right foot, get a well-child exam scheduled for your child by calling our office to make an appointment.