You can help your child set a healthy lifetime routine by taking him or her to a health care provider for an annual wellness visit.
These visits occur when your child isn’t sick and focus on overall health and prevention. Your child’s provider will make sure growth and development are on track. These visits are also a good time for you and your child to ask questions or talk about any concerns with the doctor. The wellness visit can be done once at any time during the calendar year.
During the yearly wellness visit, most providers will:
- Check height and weight, body mass index, and blood pressure
- Do a full physical exam
- Review and give any needed shots
- Possibly do blood tests to check for such problems as high cholesterol
Wellness visits are also a time for talking about
- Physical health, including eating well, physical activity, getting enough sleep, brushing and flossing teeth
- Emotional health, including moods, relationships, stress, depression, coping and self-esteem
- Physical safety, such as using seat belts, helmets and protective sports equipment and, for older children, safe driving.
- Risk reduction, including a conversation about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and sexual activities
- Internet safety, such as safe web surfing and sharing inappropriate material
- Sun protection, such as wearing sunscreen to prevent sun damage, skin cancer and wrinkles
- Participation in sports