A child’s first years are packed with developmental milestones, from smiling and speaking the first word to climbing and playing make-believe. These milestones are tracked in developmental screenings, which take place during well child examinations.
Well child examinations are especially important as to a child’s overall medical care. Rather than dealing with the ear infection or other illness at hand, these visits are an opportunity to look for developmental delays or problems and for you and your healthcare provider to discuss any concerns you have about your child’s health, behavior and development.
Regular well child examinations can help identify developmental delays as early as possible, and early intervention has been shown to greatly improve development of skills such as speech, movement and interaction with others.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends every child has a “medical home,” where the child sees the same primary care providers. Those providers can get to know the child and parents and provide consistent care and monitoring as the child reaches expected milestones.
When needed, well child examinations are available to eligible children at county health centers.