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. Depending on the previous immunizations, your child may receive one or more vaccines at this visit. The doctor will also ask about your child’s eating habits, as well as talk about discipline.
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, including how well your child communicates with others, how she behaves around other children, and whether she can identify family members or follow simple instructions without gestured cues (such as “Come here”). The doctor may also check for specific milestones: Can your child kick a ball? Use two-word phrases? Imitate adults? Stack seven blocks? Put clothes on by himself? Knows his name, sex and age?
Child safety is another topic doctors discuss at well-child visits. Your child’s doctor will reinforce the importance of using age-appropriate car seats, closely supervising children around swimming pools, preventing poisoning, not smoking around children, using sunscreen, and protecting children against exposed wires, outlets, and heat sources. In homes with firearms, guns and ammunition should be stored separately and kept locked at all times
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children visit the dentist around age 3. It is important to brush their teeth at least twice a day and use a Fluoride supplement if your water supply is Fluoride deficient.
On average, preschoolers in child care get about six to 12 colds (upper respiratory infections) a year as well as several bouts of diarrhea and vomiting. Ear infections are also common. After children reach age 3, they usually have fewer episodes of such illnesses.
The mind of children 2 and 3 year olds is growing daily. We recommend reading to your children on a daily basis and limiting television (or any screen time). Children should not have a television or computer in their bedroom. Simple household chores (picking up clothes, picking up toys) should be assigned.