I have four kids and can admit there are times I’ve taken them to the doctor when they didn’t need to go and times I haven’t taken them but they needed it and I didn’t realize it. Obviously, if your child is clearly sick or injured, you’re going to take them to a doctor or hospital to get them treated as soon as possible.
However, not every health issue is as easy to spot. My daughter’s heart issue for example, wasn’t discovered until she was put under to have wisdom teeth pulled. Sometimes, something can just feel a little off, and you might not be able to put your finger on it.
So, when should you take your child in for a health checkup just to make sure everything is alright? Here are a few things to keep in mind.
When Should You Take Your Child
for a Health Checkup
Stick to a routine
The first thing that you should do is figure out what your regular checkup routine should be. Just like adults should have an annual physical, children should have checkups just to make sure that everything is going as expected.
In the year after birth, this may include a schedule of visits roughly every month or two. After that, it may space out to every four or six months. From the age of four and onwards, you should be making an appointment for them every year, which they should be keeping up with for the rest of their life. Talk to your pediatrician now if you don’t already have a routine checkup scheduled for your child in the future.
If you suspect they are differently abled
There are some aspects of a child’s health that might not be easy to determine at first. As time goes on, you might notice certain differences in their behavior compared to other children.
From a young age, children can show a wide variation of behavior patterns. So, how do you know when it’s something worth a closer look? If you have any suspicions your child might be differently abled, it may be best to learn the signs and compare them to their everyday behavior.
For instance, if they show signs of hearing loss, then tackling childhood hearing impairments as soon as you can may ensure a better quality of life going in the future. Knowing what the signs are before you jump to any conclusions is best for everyone.
They’re not meeting their daily needs
Even if your child seems otherwise healthy and behaving as expected, if they’re not getting what they need, it can result in health issues later one, or may be caused by health issues that have yet to fully show their face.
For instance, if you’re not able to help your child sleep better, then you should see a doctor to see if anything is keeping them awake. If your child isn’t eating well or isn’t using the bathroom regularly, check in with that, as well. No matter how they seem otherwise, all children need enough sleep and enough to eat, so any interruptions with these should be looked into sooner rather than later.
Even if there’s nothing visibly wrong, routine checkups can ensure that you are staying on top of your child’s health needs. Otherwise, go with your mama gut. Even if it turns out nothing is wrong, getting some clarification can offer you some much-needed peace of mind.