Wellness Visits and School Physicals
What are pediatric wellness visits?
Pediatric wellness visits are office visits that are conducted when your child is healthy, as opposed to “sick” visits that are scheduled when your child is sick with a cold, flu or other ailment. They typically serve the same purpose as an adult annual physical exam, providing the doctor with important information about your child’s health and development as they get older. Pediatric well visits are also a time (to evaluate) -for- immunizations to ensure your child’s school requirements are kept up to date
How often should my child have a well visit?
Just like you, your child should be seen annually to provide an ongoing record of care and to look for signs or symptoms that could indicate a more serious illness or condition. Childhood is a critical developmental time, and making sure your child enjoys optimal health and wellness with regular exams is the most important thing you can do to help ensure he or she gets a healthy start on adulthood as well.
My child had an exam in school; should I still schedule an annual wellness exam?
Absolutely. The exams provided in some schools are aimed at broad screenings to look for specific issues and are no substitute for the in-depth exam and evaluation performed in the doctor’s office.
What happens during a wellness visit?
The wellness visit includes a physical exam with measurements of height and weight, blood pressure measurement, evaluations of the ears, nose and throat, evaluations of the heart and lungs using a stethoscope, palpations (gentle pressure) on the belly to look for hernias or tender spots, and vaccination updates. In addition, the doctor may also perform additional testing or provide (information concerning) immunizations required for school physicals or sports physicals. There will also be plenty of opportunity for you and your child to ask questions.