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Well Child Visits

Well-child care is one of the hallmarks of a family-centered medical home. Despite what some might think when hearing "medical home" for the first time, a medical home is not a physical place. Rather, it is an approach to providing primary care in a way that looks at the entire picture incorporating all the things that are important to the health and well-being of a child.

As part of the care provided within a medical home, the well-child care visit is an opportunity to raise general questions and concerns about your child's development, behavior, and general well-being. Many parents also use this well-child visit as a time for scheduled vaccinations and to see how much their child has grown since the last check-up. Pediatricians are used to discussing common concerns with parents such as eating, sleeping, toilet training, and social behaviors, as well as attention and learning difficulties. This type of visit differs from a "sick visit" in which you might take your child to the doctor for a specific problem like an allergic reaction, an ear infection, or breathing trouble.

Immunizations are a big part of the preventive care visit, but talking about other topics can be helpful. As part of providing a comprehensive medical home for patients and their families, pediatricians also address safety in the home and at the playground, optimal nutrition, toilet training, and environmental concerns such as lead paint exposure.

Having regular well-child visits with your child's doctor and raising the concerns that matter most to you are key ingredients in helping the doctor know you and your child and forming a reliable and trustworthy relationship.

Tip for Parents: Create a list of things you want to discuss with your child's pediatrician to ensure you get all the information you need. Jotting down your top three to five questions or concerns, bringing them to the visit and presenting these to the pediatrician at the beginning of the visit will help you focus on your issues of concern and start the dialogue with your pediatrician.

Schedule of Well-Child Care Visits

Visits can include physical measurements, patient history, sensory screenings, behavioral assessments, and planned procedures (immunizations, screenings and other tests) at the following suggested intervals:


And once every year thereafter for an annual health supervision visit that includes a physical exam as well as a developmental, behavioral, and learning assessment.