The short answer is yes, and not just because they need to stay up-to-date on vaccines.
As parents, we want the best for our children, doing everything we can to keep them healthy and happy. We worry when our children are sick, and we appreciate having a pediatrician to consult with at any hour — day or night.
Not all parents realize that annual physicals for healthy children are a crucial part of their health care. In fact, most pediatricians consider “well visits” the most important service we provide.
Pediatricians refer to these yearly encounters as “well child care” or “health maintenance” visits.
We use them to:
- Answer your questions
- Provide reassurance
- Anticipate problems
- Build a relationship with you and your child
Since these particular appointments are not focused on a specific problem, pediatricians have more time to discuss common concerns, such as:
- Preventing injury
- Emotions and behaviors
Pediatricians also monitor and assess:
- Growth and development
- Vision and hearing
- Blood pressure
Annual physicals may also allow your pediatrician to identify common conditions which may not have obvious symptoms, such as:
- Lead exposure
As a parent, you know how quickly your child grows and changes. So much can happen over the course of a year. Completely dependent newborns become giggling, walking toddlers in one year. During puberty, your little girl or boy grows 3 inches and becomes a grown-up looking adolescent in one year. There is a lot to navigate as a parent at all ages. Your pediatrician wants to be your guide on this amazing journey. Annual physicals are an important way for us to help you ensure your child is healthy and thriving.
And of course, well visits are also important opportunities to vaccinate your child to prevent serious, often deadly, illnesses. Children still need their vaccines, but don’t forget they also need their annual physicals.
Visit UFJaxPrimaryCare.org to find a UF Health Pediatrics practice near you.