Parents of babies and toddlers spend a lot of time with their pediatrician. Many of those visits revolve around check-ups and immunizations that are required and recommended during a child’s early months and years. By the time a child enters kindergarten, doctor visits are much less frequent, and it becomes easier to fall out of the habit of regular periodic check-ups — especially if your child doesn’t get sick often.
Besides noting that pediatric guidelines recommend periodic health check-ups for children five years of age and older, here are some additional reasons why parents should continue their child’s annual check-up regimen.
A lot can change in a year: It’s easy for adults to forget how much change takes place in a child’s life from one year to the next. During middle childhood, a typical five- or six-year-old grows about two-and-a-half inches and gains six pounds in a year, and growth is even faster during adolescence. A child’s needs are in a constant state of change through different developmental stages and at different ages. An annual check-up gives your doctor a periodic opportunity to monitor your child’s growth and development and look out for potential changes that may be a sign of a health issue or abnormality.
Catching problems earlier is better: For nearly every problem in life, the sooner the problem is dealt with, the easier it is to resolve. That same logic applies to health problems. Even though the vast majority of check-ups don’t reveal any significant health problems, there are instances when a doctor notices a sign or indication that may turn out to be serious, with further investigation needed.
The tests and screenings that are part of an annual check-up are capable of revealing problems such as vision disorders, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and insulin resistance — even when symptoms haven’t yet appeared. Catching health problems earlier leads to better treatment outcomes, and causes less disruption to a child’s physical, emotional, and educational well-being.
Include emotional and mental health: Check-ups aren’t merely for taking care of recommended immunizations and screenings. They are also an opportunity for the doctor to assess a child’s mental health and emotional well-being, while looking for possible indications of problems such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and behavioral anomalies.
Form a habit for health: Your children may be just starting school, but they will be entering adulthood sooner than you can imagine. The habits they form as children will likely stay with them as adults.
Keeping a regular schedule of check-ups demonstrates to a child that health is important and shouldn’t be ignored, especially since adulthood comes with many more health risks of a serious nature. And if and when your children have children of their own, they will already have a healthy model from their own childhood that will serve them well as parents.
Children’s Health Packages
The Children’s Center at Bumrungrad International Hospital is staffed by a team of pediatricians and healthcare professionals dedicated to the well-being of all children. Along with pediatric medical treatments, check-ups and vaccinations, and expert care for children with special needs, four customized health packages are now available:
- Healthy Child Package: Pediatric guidelines recommend regular periodic health check-ups for children five years of age and older. More information for this package here.
- Allergy Test Package: Testing can help identify specific allergies your child may be suffering from. More information for this package here.
- Obesity Package: Nearly one in five children is overweight or obese. Make sure your child’s weight is within the normal range for his or her age and height. More information for this package here.
- Short Stature Package: Find out how your child’s growth rate compares with the normal rate for children of his or her age. More information for this package here.