Besides taking your child to the doctor when they are sick, a schedule of regular or "well" visits is recommended.
More than just a time for scheduled vaccinations and to see how much your child has grown in the past few months it offers a chance to raise questions and concerns about your child’s development, behavior, and general well-being — questions that are difficult to discuss during sick visits. For instance, pediatricians are used to discussing common concerns with parents such as eating, sleeping, toilet training, social behaviors, as well as attention and learning problems. Having regular well visits with your child’s doctor and raising the concerns that matter most to you are key ingredients in helping the doctor know you and your child, and in forming a reliable and trustworthy relationship. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Department of Research recently conducted 20 focus groups with parents and 31 focus groups with pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners to gather recommendations about how to make the most of the well visit. From these sessions, four themes emerged:
- Pediatricians and parents share the goal of healthy children.
- Pediatricians want the well visit to best serve the needs of children and their families.
- Pediatricians are experts in child health, but parents are experts on their child.
- A team approach can best develop optimum physical, emotional, and developmental health for the child.
When to Schedule Your Check-Ups
We encourage you to call at least a month in advance to schedule a routine physical.
|Newborn||Usually 1-7 days after leaving the hospital|
|1 Month||MUST be at least 4 weeks (28 days) after **Hep B #1 (Hep B #2)|
|2 Months||* Pentacel #1; PCV #1; Rotavirus #1|
|4 Months||* Pentacel #2; PCV #2; Rotavirus #2|
|6 Months||* Pentacel #3; PCV #3; Rotavirus #3; Hep B #3|
|1 Year||MUST be after the baby turns 1 MMR #1; VZV #1; Hep A #1; Blood Test, Screen for Lead Level and Anemia|
|15 Months||* Pentacel #4; PCV #4|
|18 Months||Must be at least 6m after Hep A #1 (Hep A #2), Screen for Autism (M-Chat)|
PPD if High Risk
|4 Years||MUST be after the child turns 4 DTaP #5; MMR #2; Start Hearing/Vision Screen|
|5 Years||MUST be after March 1 if child enters kindergarten that year IPV #5; VZV #2; PPD if High Risk|
|6 – 18
|Check-up every year, Receive Tdap at age 10. Start HPV Series & Meningococcal Vaccine at age 11|
It’s helpful that you bring your child’s immunization records to ALL visits even if you don’t think your child is due for any shots that day.
Note: Anyone arriving more than 15-20 minutes late for a physical may be asked to re-schedule. Please be considerate to other patients and arrive for your appointment on time.
* Pentacel = DTaP + Hib + IPV
** Hep B #1 is usually given at birth at the hospital
The AAP regularly updates their recommendations for the timing of well child visits.