Schedule Your Child’s Annual Visit with their Pediatrician

RWJBarnabas Health is reminding parents and guardians to schedule their child’s checkup with their pediatrician. These visits, also known as “well child visits,” are critical to preventing potential health and development issues and setting your child on a path for a healthy lifestyle.

During children’s well visits, pediatricians address a broad list of topics — most of which focus on determining if the child is growing and developing in an age-appropriate manner and if they have healthy habits to support proper well-being. They screen for a range of conditions – such as autism, vision and hearing, and depression and anxiety – which would likely remain hidden unless a person is specifically looking for them. As many issues in kids are best treated with early intervention, they will make sure any condition that may arise is properly addressed to remove or minimize any potential lasting effects.

Additionally, pediatricians provide invaluable guidance to prevent issues throughout each phase of the child’s life.

“Pediatricians spend a lot of time counseling about preventive medicine and doing anticipatory guidance,” said Rebekah Lipstein, MD, a pediatrician from the Combined Medical Group of RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Health. “When we discuss healthy eating habits, sleep patterns, and vaccinations, we are looking to keep your child healthy and safe. Reviewing car seats, choking hazards, and poison control numbers are meant to avoid problems before they happen.”

Having a pediatrician that your child sees regularly helps provide the best care for your child in times of health and illness. The physician knows you and your family, giving them better insight into your concerns so they can address them in a way that is specific to your family. Additionally, as many kids are sick several times throughout the year, having consistent care is very important.

“It allows a pediatrician to judge when antibiotics are truly needed, when a problem needs referral to a specialist, and what the dividing line is between normal childhood illnesses and bigger concerns,” explained Dr. Lipstein.

Pediatricians oversee the entire health of children and communicate with specialists and other providers, when needed, to ensure no potential health concern is ignored. Even having their vaccination records in one place helps make sure they receive all immunizations on time. Contrarily, having checkups at urgent cares or other medical centers spreads health information throughout many places, making it difficult to identify growth and development issues and ensure proper care and guidance.

Perhaps most importantly, having a consistent pediatrician forms a relationship of trust for your child. “Your child will know their pediatrician and trust their advice. This is valuable as they grow older, whether they are discussing eating more fruits and vegetables or trying to have a conversation about anxiety or depression,” said Dr. Lipstein.

Please note that infants and toddlers — as well as others with medical needs — require more frequent examinations to make sure key milestones are being met and health is being maintained. Follow the guidance of your pediatrician regarding appointment schedule.

To find a physician within the Children’s Health Network of RWJBarnabas Health system spanning throughout New Jersey, please visit https://www.rwjbh.org/doctors/.

Leave a Comment