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Health Information For Parents
Regular well-child exams are an important part of keeping kids healthy and up to date on immunizations against many serious childhood diseases.
Checkups also are a chance for you and the doctor to talk about developmental and safety issues, and for you to get answers to any questions about your child’s overall health.
At yearly exams, your child will be weighed and measured, and these results will be plotted on growth charts for weight, height, and body mass index (BMI). Using these charts, doctors can see how kids are growing compared with other kids the same age and gender. The doctor will take a medical and family history and do a physical exam.
During checkups, your child’s blood pressure, vision, and hearing will be checked. Your child may be screened for anemia, lead poisoning, tuberculosis, or high cholesterol.
Immunizations given might include:
The flu vaccine, given before flu season each year, also is recommended. Other vaccines might be needed if the doctor determines that your child is at risk for conditions like meningococcal or pneumococcal disease.
The doctor will check for crossed eyes and any vision and hearing problems, and also check the teeth for tooth decay, abnormal tooth development, malocclusion (abnormal bite), dental injuries, or other problems. In addition to the doctor’s dental evaluation, your child should be making regular visits to the dentist.
The doctor also will check on behavioral and social development, asking questions to see if your child’s everyday behavior is age appropriate, how well your child does in social situations, and how well he or she communicates.
Developmental milestones for 4-year-olds include being able to:
Developmental milestones for 5-year-olds include being able to:
Child safety is another topic discussed at well-child visits. The doctor will talk about the importance of using car seats, closely watching kids around swimming pools, preventing poisoning, not smoking around kids, and using sunscreen. In homes with guns, weapons and ammunition should be stored separately and kept locked at all times.
Some symptoms can be signs of an infection, chronic medical condition (such as asthma), or other medical problem. Call your doctor if your child has any of these:
Problems often found in this age group include bedwetting and sleep disturbances, such as nightmares. Kids also might have growing pains in their calves at night.
Your doctor can offer guidance to help you manage these issues.
In an emergency, health care professionals will have many questions about a patient’s medical history. It’s easy to compile this information now, and it could save critical minutes later.
Take advantage of your child’s natural tendency to be active. Staying fit can help improve kids’ self-esteem and decrease the risk of serious illnesses later in life.
Building a relationship with your child’s doctor requires communication and reasonable expectations.
When kids know they’re “going to the doctor,” many become worried about the visit. Here’s how to help them.
Find out what this doctor’s visit will involve and what your child might be doing by the fourth year.
Find out what this doctor’s visit will involve and what your child might be doing by the fifth year.
Communicating with our kids is one of the most pleasurable and rewarding parts of parenting. Learn how to connect with your 4- to 5-year-old.
Kids who are 4 to 5 years old continue to learn in a very physical way, but are more focused than when they were younger.
Vaccines help keep kids healthy, but many parents still have questions about them. Get answers here.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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