Beginning at 2 years old, we and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend yearly well-child examinations. Regular well-child examinations by your child’s doctor are essential to keep your child healthy and up-to-date with immunizations against many dangerous childhood diseases. A checkup also gives your child’s doctor an opportunity to talk to you about developmental and safety issues and gives you an opportunity to ask any questions you might have about your child’s overall health.
At a typical well-child visit, your child will be weighed and height checked to make sure she’s progressing along a normal pattern of growth. For new patients, the doctor will take a family and medical history and perform a complete physical examination. For existing patients, we will update any history and complete a physical examination. If indicated, at this age your child may be screened for anemia, lead poisoning, tuberculosis, high cholesterol, or other specific conditions. Your child’s doctor will check your child’s immunization record to see if any vaccinations are needed. If your child has not already gotten a Meningitis vaccine or Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis vaccine, he will need one. 13 year olds are recommended to receive the HPV vaccine to prevent the transmission of Human Papilloma Virus.
Your child’s doctor will also check developmental progress. He or she will ask a number of questions to see if your child’s everyday behavior is age appropriate.
Developmental milestones for 12 to 13-year-olds include being able to:
- display self confidence, good self-esteem and sense of competence
- enjoyment of peer interaction, and recreational activities
- responds to rules and fair play, is energetic and enthusiastic
- be responsible for his own homework and chores
Please limit snacks, fast food and other high fat foods. Encourage drinking water instead of soft drinks and sports drinks. Parents should be ethical role models. Be careful about cursing, drinking too much. Your child watches everything you do at this age. Eat dinner as a family, without the TV. Show affection to your child on a daily basis. Your child needs 10-12 hours of sleep. Avoid alcohol, drugs and tobacco – your body is your temple. Please always wear a seat belt in any vehicle.
More homework will be given over the next few years. Encourage independent homework completion. Be willing to review problems. During summers continue to challenge their minds with reading.
Acne may begin around this age. It is caused by the plugging and over activity of the oil glands caused by increased levels of hormones during adolescence. At least 90% of all teenagers develop some degree of acne. This visit is an opportunity to discuss this issue.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children visit the dentist around every 6 months. It is important to brush their teeth at least twice a day and use a Fluoride supplement if your water supply is Fluoride deficient.