Well-child care visits: An important part of your child’s growth and development

iStock_000016203651Large_CMYK_jpgDid you know there is a recommended schedule of well-child care visits, beginning the first couple days after birth?

Schedule for well-child visits
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children have nine well-child visits in the first 24 months of life: newborn, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 15 months, 18 months, and 24 months.

Visits through age 21 are all important, but the visits in the first two years of life rank among the most important because these are the months when your child goes through numerous growth and development changes.

Benefits of well-child visits

Doctor visits aren’t just important when your child does become ill; they are also important when your child is healthy so that you can maintain your child’s health. There are so many benefits to you and your child of well-child visits. Here are some of them:

  • It’s the best way to develop a relationship with your child’s pediatrician (doctor).
  • It’s a time and place to raise concerns and have a time to talk to your child’s pediatrician.
  • It’s a great way to track your child’s development and growth milestones.
  • Your doctor can talk to you about disease prevention and administer age-appropriate disease-prevention vaccines.

Research has shown that parents who follow this schedule significantly lower their child’s risk for hospitalization due to illness. Children who miss recommended well-child visits, especially in the first two years of life, are twice as likely to experience hospitalization than children who follow the recommended well-child visit schedule.

Other helpful information

The American Academy of Pediatrics created a website just for parents, called HealthyChildren.org. The website is also available in Spanish. Click here for the recommended schedule for well-child visits, including information about the questions you should be asking your child’s doctor at each visit.




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Beth P. Stokes