What's a Well Child Exam?

You’ve heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and that saying is especially true for children. When your child is a baby, you take them to a doctor to get vaccinations to prevent diseases such as hepatitis B, measles, and polio. You also take them for regular check-ups to be sure they’re growing and developing normally. 

But even after your child has passed through infancy and is well into their toddler years, a well-child exam helps your doctor keep track of their milestones, administer follow-up doses of vaccines, and evaluate their health overall. Regular check-ups should continue every few months until your child is ready for school, and then once a year after that.

Rainilda P. Valencia, M.D., an award-winning pediatrician in Hesperia, Apple Valley, and Victorville, California, in the High Desert, is passionate about keeping your child healthy. She offers well-child exams for infants, toddlers, school-age children, and adolescents.

What happens in a well-child exam?

Dr. Valencia custom designs your child’s well-child exam based on their age, stage of life, and any health issues they may have. To evaluate your child’s health during a well-child exam, she checks:

She also listens to their heart and lungs to be sure they’re healthy. She uses special instruments to check their eyes, ears, nose, and throat, too. In addition, she may perform tests, such as:

If your child needs to be caught up with their vaccinations, she does that in the well-child exam, too.  

Checking their development

In addition to conducting a physical exam, Dr. Valencia also administers developmental screening tests to be sure your child is on track with their language skills, social skills, learning, and gross-motor skills. These tests help catch developmental issues, such as autism, at an early stage so your child can get the interventions they need.

Generally, Dr. Valencia recommends developmental screenings at 9, 18, 24, and 30 months. If your child had a low birth weight, was exposed to toxins like lead, or has other health issues, she may recommend more frequent visits.

A well-child exam is also for you 

You may have questions about how to keep your child as healthy as possible, what they should be eating, and how often they should be outdoors and get exercise? 

A well-child exam gives you a chance to talk to Dr. Valencia about anything that concerns you. For instance, you may have noticed that your child gets a tummy ache after eating a certain food, or sometimes develops a skin rash. Dr. Valencia can look into anything that concerns you, so you can be confident that your child is getting the care they need.

If Dr. Valencia diagnoses an illness or condition that needs looking into, she lets you know in the well-child exam so you can discuss next steps. She may recommend treatments or lifestyle changes. 

She refers your child to a specialist, when needed. For instance, if she administers a vision test and notices that your child is having trouble seeing, she may refer you to an ophthalmologist to determine if your child needs eyeglasses.

To schedule a well-child exam, contact us today. You can call our office or send us a message with our online form.

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