As a parent, it is your responsibility to look after the welfare of your children. You must always promote your kids’ overall health and well-being. To do so, you must provide them with proper nutrition, vitamins and minerals, a room for physical activities, and an avenue for enough sleep. The last thing you want to happen is for your kids to become sick and disabled.
But as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This applies to taking care of your children as well. It’s best to set appointments for their regular checkups, whether for a visit with a physician, an eye doctor, or a dentist. By doing so, you’ll be able to protect your children and address minor health issues as soon as possible.
That said, here are five types of checkups your children must regularly have:
1. Well-child visit
Did you know that your children must see a doctor at least once a year? That’s according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control! An annual well-child checkup is required for both kids and adolescents aged four to 21 years. The ultimate goal of this checkup is to examine the general health and overall development of your children.
For the most part, this routine checkup includes the following:
- Physical examination
- Development screening
- Basic vision test
- Hearing test
- Health education
Immunization is essential, particularly for babies and toddlers. In fact, it is the most important and cost-effective preventive health service. For this reason, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) set forth vaccination guidelines for children. They conduct well-studied vaccines and administer them according to safety-tested schedules. The ultimate goal is to offer the best protection for children. Below are some vaccinations required:
- Hepatitis B
- Haemophilus influenza type B
- Diphtheria, Tetanus and Acellular Pertussis
- Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
- Varicella (Chickenpox)
- Hepatitis A
- Conjugated Meningococcal Series
- Human Papillomavirus
3. Eye Checkup
While vision screening is a part of a well-child visit, it’s best to have a comprehensive eye checkup for your children. In fact, the eye exam starts as early as six months of age to ensure that your child’s eyes are normally developing. Take note of the following tests:
- Infants (six months to two years): pupil responses, fixate and follow, and preferential looking
- Preschool children (two to five years): visual acuity, lazy eye, stereopsis (3-D vision), eye tracking, convergence, color vision, and ocular health
- Older children (six to 18 years): visual acuity, eye focusing, eye tracking, eye teaming, eye-hand coordination, and visual perception
4. Hearing Test
Apart from the vision checkup, it’s best to have a comprehensive hearing test for your children. During a hearing evaluation, your child’s doctor will perform a complete health history and exam. After that, they will do the actual hearing tests. But of course, these tests vary based on your kid’s age. For your reference, take note of the following tests:
- Newborn babies: Evoked otoacoustic emissions (EOAE) and Auditory brainstem response (ABR)
- Babies: EOAE, ABR, and Behavioral audiometry
- Toddlers: Play audiometry and Visual reinforcement audiometry (VRA)
- Older children: Pure tone audiometry and Tympanometry (also called impedance audiometry)
5. Dental Appointment
When we talk about dental appointments, we think of adults getting oral prophylaxis, dental implants, or tooth extraction. In fact, dentistry has a vast scope, from general to restorative to cosmetic dentistry. But a part of the world of dentistry is called pediatric dentistry.
Pediatric dentistry is exactly what it is—a dental exam and/or dental work for children. Seeing a pediatric dentist for your kids can make a difference in promoting their oral health. Below are some oral exams and dental treatments for children:
- Infant oral health exam
- Preventive dental care
- Oral habit counseling
- Repair of tooth cavities or defects
- Management of gum diseases
- Oral care for dental injuries
- Diagnosis of oral conditions
- Early assessment and treatment for teeth-straightening
These dental services are vital for children as young as they are. By getting them, they won’t have to deal with oral health problems in the future. That way, they won’t easily and quickly lose some of their teeth. After all, prevention is better than cure.
Ensuring your kids’ regular checkups is tantamount to taking good care of them. Be sure to have your kids visit their health professionals for a routine physical exam, immunization or vaccination, vision test, hearing test, and dental checkup. Set schedules for each at a certain time of the year, and don’t ignore one of them. After all, that is what it takes to be a responsible parent. Ultimately, doing so will foster the overall health and wellness of your children.