Regular checkups for children are important, even when they are healthy. At each health care visit, your child's general health, growth and development will be evaluated. The doctor can also detect and address health problems before they become serious. This is especially important during your child's teenage years because they are going through many physical changes.
Regular medical visits are a great way to develop healthy life-long habits in your child. Your child's annual visit is also a perfect time to ask any questions that you have about his or her health. Write down any questions that you have so that you don't forget to ask them.
The doctor can give you information about:
- Health and safety
- Nutrition and diet
- Your child's height/weight relationship
- Risk factors for obesity and eating disorders
- Physical fitness
- Sleep habits
- Growth and development
- Behavior and discipline
- Screenings: lead, hearing, anemia.
- Dental health
- Other issues including: emotional, social, or learning concerns; concerns about family problems; questions or concerns about puberty and raising teenagers.
Immunizations are very important because they keep children healthy by protecting them from many diseases. Measles, mumps, and polio might seem like diseases of the past, but your child is still at risk to get them if he or she does not have the right shots. Also, your child's school or day care might require your child to have all of his or her shots.
Lead is a poison that can harm young children. Most children are exposed to lead through contact with lead-based paint or dust that has lead in it. Lead can also be found in soil and water. Your child should be screened for lead at least once in early childhood and more often if your doctor believes he or she is at risk.
Children with special health care needs are especially prone to complications and challenges. Regular access to and follow-up by a primary care provider is important to getting the needed services in a timely and smooth manner.
At Fidelis Care New York, we believe in the idea of the "medical home." A medical home is not a building, house, or hospital, but rather a team approach to providing comprehensive primary care. A medical home is defined as primary care that is:
- family centered,
- compassionate, and
- culturally effective.
In a medical home, a pediatric provider works in partnership with a family and member to assure that all of the medical and non-medical needs of the patient are met. Through this partnership, the pediatric provider can help a family and member access and coordinate specialty care, educational services, out-of-home care, family support, and other public and private community services that are important to the overall health of a child or teenager and family.
For more information, check the American Academy of Pediatrics website at http://www.aap.org.
Developmental Milestones - http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/stages.cfm