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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. As kids grow, they can also ask their own questions about their health and changing body.
At yearly exams, kids are weighed and measured, and their results are 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 the visit, your child’s blood pressure, vision, and hearing will be checked. Your child may be screened for anemia, tuberculosis, or high cholesterol.
Immunizations given might include:
The flu vaccine, given before flu season each year, also is recommended.
The doctor might also ask about your child’s sleep, exercise, and eating habits. A yearly exam also lets older kids talk with their doctors about any questions they have about puberty.
The doctor also might talk with your child about the importance of personal care and hygiene; warn against using alcohol, tobacco, or drugs; and stress safety (wearing a bicycle helmet, using seatbelts, etc.).
The doctor also may ask about and provide counseling on behavioral issues, learning problems, difficulties at school, and other concerns.
As your child becomes a teen, the doctor may ask you to leave the room to allow a more private conversation. It’s an important part of kids moving toward independence and taking responsibility for their own health.
Parents usually can judge if their child is sick enough for a visit to the doctor. Some symptoms that may require a doctor’s attention include:
Common problems found in this age group include sleep disorders, bedwetting, strep throat, and colds. Some preteens also may be injured playing sports or other activities, and some kids develop stress-related stomachaches or headaches.
These are rarely serious, but if a problem persists, call your doctor.
As your preteen becomes more independent, staying connected may seem like more of a challenge. But it’s as important as ever â here are some tips.
School-age kids need physical activity to build strength, coordination, confidence, and to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle.
As kids grow from grade-schoolers to preteens, there continues to be a wide range of “normal” as far as height, weight, and shape.
Talking to kids about puberty is an important job for parents, especially because kids often hear about sex and relationships from unreliable sources. Here are some tips.
Puberty was awkward enough when you were the one going through it. So how can you help your kids through all the changes?
Communicating with a child is one of the most pleasurable and rewarding experiences for both parent and child. Learn how to connect with your 6- to 12-year-old.
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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