What's Included in a Well Child Check?

A doctor examines a patient's ear during a Well-child check visit

Taking your child to the doctor when they’re sick is almost a no-brainer. But did you know your child should see the doctor when they’re well, too? Just like you, your child needs regular well visits to keep them healthy during those all-important “growing years.” 

Harbor Community Health Centers offers comprehensive well visits and physical exams for kids of all ages at our Pediatric Clinic located at 425 S. Pacific Ave, San Pedro, CA. Here’s what you — and your child — can expect during a regular well child check.

Well child check: What to expect

In many ways, a well child check is similar to an adult physical exam, with evaluations aimed at helping your child enjoy optimal health and wellness as they grow. 

Your child’s exam begins with a comprehensive health history, including information about your child’s personal medical history and family history, as well. The history helps your child’s doctor identify potential risk factors or other health issues they might need to keep an eye on or screen for.

The physical exam

Next, we perform basic screenings for height, weight, and blood pressure. These measurements are compared against averages for children in the same age group as your child, so we can track your child’s growth and identify potential issues.

The doctor checks your child’s eyes, ears, and throat and listens to their heart and lungs. Gently palpating your child’s tummy and throat helps identify areas of swelling or tenderness. Reflex checks, coordination or balance checks, and other simple exams round out this part of your child’s visit.

Finally, the doctor checks your child’s vaccine history and recommends immunizations to keep your child healthy. The American Academy of Pediatrics maintains an up-to-date list of recommended screenings, vaccines, and other well child services to keep kids on track with their health and wellness needs throughout childhood.

Depending on your child’s needs, we may also recommend additional screening. Before leaving the office, we’ll provide tips and guidance to help your child develop healthy behaviors at home and in school and answer any questions you or your child may have about their health.

Why well child visits are important

Regular physical exams are critical for people of all ages, and they’re especially essential for kids. That’s because children are rapidly growing, which means their health is changing, too.

Regular well child visits throughout childhood can help prevent serious medical issues and provide critical treatment early in the course of a disease to avoid serious complications. These exams also provide an ongoing record of your child’s growth and development to identify issues that could benefit from medical or other professional intervention.

And finally, seeing your child’s doctor regularly allows you and your child to work together with the doctor as a team, getting answers to crucial questions and learning simple ways to improve health at home and school. Establishing a good relationship with your child’s doctor also sets a pattern of healthy habits that can follow your child into adulthood, too.

Schedule a well child check for your child

Regular well visits form the cornerstone of good health and wellness for your child at every age and stage of growth and development. To schedule a well check for your child, call us today at 310-547-0202.

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