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What to expect from your child's well-check visit

Well-check, well-baby, or well-child visits are routine visits to the child's doctor for the following reasons:

  • Physical examinations
  • Immunization updates
  • Tracking growth and development
  • Finding any problems before they become serious
  • Information on health and safety issues
  • Information on nutrition and physical fitness
  • Information on how to manage emergencies and illnesses

Your child's doctor can also provide guidance on other issues, such as the following:

  • Behavioral problems
  • Learning problems
  • Emotional problems
  • Family problems
  • Socialization problems
  • Puberty and concerns about teenage years

When should well-check visits be scheduled?

Your child's doctor will give you a schedule of ages when a well-check visit is suggested. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends this schedule for routine well-care visits at the following ages:

  • Before a newborn is discharged from the hospital, or at 48 to 72 hours of age
  • 3 to 5 days
  • 2 to 4 weeks
  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 9 months
  • 12 months
  • 15 months
  • 18 months
  • 24 months
  • Annually, between the ages of 2 and 21 years

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Well-check visits should be scheduled annually for greater health benefits. Unlike other doctor visits that are scheduled when one is ill, the well-check visit is focused on preventive care and individual health status.
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