House Call Doctors: Well Child Exams

A well child exam is very different from a sick child visit to the doctor, but it is just as important. House call doctors can perform a well child exam to help prevent future illness and problems. This is also a time for parents to express their concerns over things such as potty training, behaviors and other issues they may have noticed.

 

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What Does a Well Child Visit Entail?

Each well child visit will involve a general checkup. The doctor will weigh and measure the child to ensure he or she is growing properly. A complete physical examination will be done, as well. This allows the doctor to catch potential problems early on and suggest treatment before there is a problem.

The physical exam includes checking reflexes and palpating the body to check for swollen glands and organ size. The doctor will listen to Doctor and Paitentthe heart, lungs and stomach, as well. The child’s temperature will be taken to check for fever and the doctor will also tap the child’s stomach to check for problems. The eyes, ears and throat will also be examined for any issues or abnormalities.

Parents may discuss the patient’s diet and nutrition, as well as any other concerns. Well visits may also include immunizations if the child is due for one. This may be discussed with the doctor ahead of time.

How Often Should Children See a Doctor?

Infants will need a well child exam a few days after birth and again at the end of the first month. After this, well visits should be scheduled for 2, 4, 6, and 9 months. The child can then be seen every six months until the age of three, after which a yearly visit is advised.

If the child is sick or has other medical issues that require closer observation, extra visits should be scheduled as needed.

3 Reasons House Calls Are Best

Wondering why parents should consider a house call instead of visiting the doctor’s office? There are a few good reasons for this.

1. The child is more comfortable. Many children are uncomfortable or frightened in the doctor’s office, but are in their element at home. This results in a more relaxed visit.

2. It’s easier to see multiple children. Any parent can testify that it is challenging to take several small children anywhere. House call doctors come to the home, eliminating the need to change children, wrestle them into the car and then try to keep them calm in a waiting room.

3. The risk of cross-contamination is lowered. Germs abound in waiting rooms and this can be a real concern when taking children to the doctor. The toys and magazines tend to be covered in germs and the risk of picking something up drastically increases.

House call doctors can make life much easier for parents. Only 62.1% of children have all their well child exams before the age of 15 months, meaning nearly 40% of infants and toddlers miss their exams, opening them up to potential health issues later in life. House calls allow parents to schedule exams without having to figure out how to get to the doctor, making it more likely that they will have their children checked out.

References:

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/family-life/health-management/Pages/Well-Child-Care-A-Check-Up-for-Success.aspx

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001928.htm

http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/dataandstats/Pages/Well-childvisitsinthefirst15monthsoflife.aspx