Well-child visit before school starts

As summer comes to a close, it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming school year. Whether your child is going to school in person or preparing for remote learning, well-child visits are crucial to ensure your child is healthy, up to date on vaccinations, and has the necessary medication refills.

The earlier you can schedule a well-child visit, the better! In normal years, pediatricians’ schedules fill quickly leading up to the school year. With COVID-19, many offices are limiting patients and reducing hours, so scheduling could be even more difficult in 2020. The earlier you can schedule your well-child visit, the better!

What is a well-child visit?

A well-child visit is a yearly chance to make sure your kid is healthy, just like an annual or physical exam for adults. Because children change rapidly as they grow, younger children need well-child visits more often than once a year. But after age 3, healthy children can stick to one well-child visit a year. Regular well-child visits build your child’s health records, which can help pediatricians discover any underlying issues and also are important for new pediatricians if you move or change insurance and need to switch doctors.

What to expect at a well-child visit

Just like a physical for an adult, doctors use well-child visits to check that your child is healthy. You will likely get information on sleep, safety for your child, any childhood diseases you should watch for, and other information about what to expect in the next year or so as your child grows. Well-child visits are focused on 3 major tasks:

  • Prevention
    • Getting scheduled immunizations are vital to preventing illness and keeping your child healthy. Annual well-child visits also help your pediatrician catch any other illnesses before they become larger
  • Growth & development
    • Your pediatrician will track your child’s mental development and how much your child has grown since the last visit, including height and weight, blood pressure and heart rate, reflexes, spinal alignment, and there will also be time to discuss social behaviors and learning.
  • Concerns
    • There will always be time for you to discuss any concerns you have about your child with your pediatrician. It can be helpful to come with a list of prioritized topics to make sure you get through them all, like sleep, eating, or behavioral

Back to school vaccines and prescriptions

Vaccinations are the best tool we have to prevent many illnesses, and by sticking to the CDC’s recommended vaccination schedule, you can keep your child safe from potentially deadly diseases. These vaccines protect your child from a variety of illnesses, like polio and measles, chickenpox, and more.

The well-child visit is also an excellent opportunity to make sure all prescriptions are filled and ready for the new school year. Many common prescriptions run on year-long refills, so using the well-child visit to refill your child’s medications means one less thing for you to worry about at the start of the school year. Here are some common refill considerations:

  • Asthma
    • Inhalers are a large part of asthma treatment. Take the time to make sure your child’s inhaler prescription is refilled so you both can breathe easier in the new school
  • Acne
    • Acne can be debilitating to self-esteem. If your child has persistent or severe acne, having a treatment plan can help improve skin and may improve general self- esteem
  • ADHD
    • For children with ADHD, proper medication can be critical for the school year to help them focus and However, as with any medication, be sure to have your pediatrician diagnose your child with ADHD and prescribe the medication.

No matter what the school year holds, maintaining a regular well-child visit schedule is crucial to keep your child healthy, up to date on vaccines, and to refill necessary prescriptions. Visit perks.optum.com to help find savings on those medication refills today!