What Are The Benefits Of A Well Child Exam?

Last updated on May 27th, 2018 at 09:09 pm

When you child is acting sick or unusual you are right on top of that and many times that ends in a visit to his/her Pediatrician.  Your mind is put at ease (usually), your child may or may not be given medication for the problem, you go home feeling much better about your responsibilities as a parent, and within a short period of time your child is feeling better.  But what about all the well child/baby exams that are scheduled for regular intervals: are they really that important?  After all they are inconvenient, cost you money and often times you leave your Pediatricians office with information that you knew all the time; your child is healthy.

But what if you were not capable of determining the status of your child’s health; not out of lack of trying or intelligence, but a lack of familiarity with the normal course of things that should take place in your child’s development and growth.  In other words, how do you know what you don’t know? Always a difficult question to answer about any issue.  In this case there is someone readily available who has had many years of training in order to identify the abnormal among the myriad of normal processes going on at the same time in your child.  Not only that but he/she has had the opportunity through many years of practice and observation as a Pediatrician to help identify the subtle factors that many might miss leading one to feel there is a problem there.  He/she can then explain in everyday language what the issue is and what can be done about it.

Your Pediatrician is the best source of information about your child and how he/she fits into or out of “normal”.   Let’s take, for instance, a major reason for well- baby/child exams, growth and development.  You can immediately notice symptoms of a cold with runny nose, cough sneezing and possible some fever, but what do you look for to tell you there is slow down in development or growth? By the time you (as a parent) will notice such subtle issues, these might have been going on for some time, and the first reaction in parents to seeing these is to deny their existence- “not in my child”.  This can result in weeks or months of delay in recognition and treatment.  Sure you can read everything you come across about childhood growth and development and sure you will begin to pick up the most obvious factors but nothing substitutes for the knowledge your Doctor already has.  Not only able to pick up these issues early but to possibly set your mind at ease about things you have noticed and worried about that are really insignificant.  He will also keep an exact record of growth in your child to include height, weight, and head circumference (in babies) in order to spot early issues.

There are psychological and behavioral abnormalities that can be seen early in life that can begin to formulate a plan of action as your child grows older and bigger. An observation of family/, and child/physician interaction, can become very important to the trained eye as to “normal” vs out of the range of normal of a child.

Then there is the entire issue of protecting your child from injury and disease through the one on one counseling taking place in the office and the very important use of vaccines as directed by knowledgeable organizations such as American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC in Atlanta.  All the vaccines recommended have been tested and retested over a matter of many years before being released for use in children.

As you can seed there are a huge variety of reasons why your child should not miss  his/her regular well-child/baby exams, so try to stick with the schedule that is advised by your Pediatrician

About the Author

Dr. Joseph Skoloff received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his medical degree from The Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. He is a past Vice Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, a past Chairman of the Infection Control Committee at the Loudoun Hospital Center and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. In his 41 years as a practicing pediatrician he has kept hundreds of kids and families healthy and safe and plans to continue to do so for years to come. Dr. Joe believes strongly in the combined power of parent and physician working together for the health of their children. He is an advocate for children everywhere and and adheres strongly to the principles of the American Academy of Pediatrics.Dr Joe is a member of the PedSafe Expert team

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