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Rather than just taking your child to the doctor when they're sick, this wellness checkup let's your child's doctor make sure they are healthy. Your child’s doctor will:
Well-child visits should start shortly after a baby is born and continue through age 21. Ages for well-child visits for infants and young children are:
Starting at 3 years old, children should have a well-child visit every year through age 21.
In this video, Dr. David Lechner, Chief Medical Officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, explains what your child needs and when.
It can be easy to miss regular checkups, but they’re important. Well-child visits offer many benefits.
Tracking GrowthWell-child visits are essential for tracking growth and development. During the visits, you can talk with the doctor about your child’s behavior, sleep and eating patterns. You can ask about social behavior and learning.
PreventionThese visits are an opportunity to ask questions about safety at home or at school. They’re also the time to get scheduled vaccinations to prevent illness. Children protected by vaccines are less likely to get sick with health problems like measles and whooping cough. These diseases are very contagious and can be serious for babies and infants.
Common developmental delays are also found during routine checkups, and early action makes a big difference. Your child gets the support needed before something small becomes a bigger issue.
Discuss ConcernsBring your top health and development questions. Wellness visits are your opportunity to discuss any concerns or questions you have with your child’s doctor.
Team ApproachRegular wellness visits also help you and your child build a bond with your child’s doctors, nurses and other caregivers.
The American Academy of Pediatrics provides a schedule of recommended preventive care for children starting soon after they’re born. You can use it to plan your child’s preventive care visits and immunizations.
Originally published 4/22/2022; Revised 2023, 2024
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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