Nothing is more important than a child's health, but it can be tricky to know when to take them to the doctor. Some people take their children for routine check-ups on a regular basis, while others wait until their little ones come down with something. There's no right answer, but the DHEC says it's important to get kids checked out every so often for the sake of their development. Going by that logic, exactly how often should we be taking our kids into the doctor's office?
It varies by age. Newborns should be looked over every 3-5 days, then at 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months, suggests the DHEC. Toddlers should be seen at 15 months, 18 months, 24 months, 30 months and 3 years, while kids from 3 to 21 years old should go in once a year. So, why so often? Surely if there's nothing wrong with your kids then they don't need to have an appointment, right?
There are a number of reasons that it might be a good idea to see the GP, but it's mainly down to prevention. Sometimes kids can appear perfectly healthy to the naked eye, but doctors might be able to spot something that we can't. By taking kids to check-ups, it can help to spot anything worrying early on. As we all know, the earlier you catch something, the better it will be in the long run. Doctors will usually give kids a full physical exam before giving them the okay but may suggest further tests elsewhere.
This check-up schedule was developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and is known as a "well-child" visit. Not only do these appointments help prevent illnesses, but it can help your child recognize the importance of looking after themselves in the long-run. If they've always gone for routine check-ups, then when it comes to doing the same thing as an adult, it will be a piece of cake. As we're typically creatures of habit, the earlier you can instill the importance of healthcare into your child, the better. Well-child visits can also help to develop a level of trust with medical professionals.