Preventative Health Q & A
Why should I seek out preventive care for my child?
There are a number of reasons for attending regular preventive care appointments. Children are not only incredibly susceptible to catching viruses and infections, such as strep throat, but they’re also more vulnerable to the damage that those diseases might cause, making it imperative to keep regular tabs on the state of their health.
Additionally, children aren’t necessarily knowledgeable about their bodies, and Dr. Okoh is able to identify health issues that your child doesn’t necessarily feel or understand the symptoms of, such as hairline bone fractures or heart conditions.
Lastly, there are a massive number of developmental changes that the body undergoes as its growing, and therefore a massive number of problems that can potentially arise. It’s important to consistently track your child’s health to make sure that everything is developing regularly.
Preventive care visits are also an excellent opportunity to get a sports physical exam to determine that your child is healthy enough to participate in athletic activities. Sports physical exams are especially important in detecting health issues that might not be readily apparent when the body is in a resting state, potentially saving your child from major damage in the future.
How often should my child see a pediatrician for preventive care visits?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends preventive care visits when your child is
- in their first week (three to five days old)
- one month old
- two months old
- four months old
- six months old
- nine months old
- 12 months old
- 15 months old
- 18 months old
- 24 months old (or two years old)
- 30 months old (or two and a half years old)
It’s then recommended that your child visit the pediatrician once a year between the ages of three and 21.
What is examined in a preventive care visit?
Between the time when your child is a newborn and two years old, Dr. Okoh will be checking to ensure that everything is on track with your baby’s physical development, movement, growth, nourishment, and language skills. She’ll also give your baby any immunizations they might need.
After your child turns two, Dr. Okoh starts monitoring:
- development of learning, speech, physical activity, coordination, strength, sleep habits, and other factors
- growth and nutrition, such as their weight, height, BMI, blood pressure, and cholesterol
- oral health
She also updates and administers any necessary vaccines.
Prospect Pediatrics, PA, does all of its blood draws on-site, with a staff that is incredibly gentle, compassionate, and highly skilled in child phlebotomy, making “scary” blood tests a thing of the past!