Caring for Kids…at Billings Clinic

6 Reasons Routine Well Child Visits Benefit Your Child

Mother and Son at table

Did you know that school aged kids and teens benefit from well child care too?  Visits with a pediatric provider when your children are healthy are just as important as visits when they are sick. 

Here are 6 reasons why these visits are important and will benefit your child:

  1. Growth – Anyone who has recently purchased clothes or shoes for their kids knows just how fast school aged kids and teens grow.  I recently looked at my daughter’s now too short for her pants and realized she grew an inch in just a few months!  It is fun to see that progress, and it is important to make sure kids are growing appropriately.  At each visit we will review your child’s growth chart with you to ensure that their growth is healthy for their age.  By seeing your child annually and tracking growth, we can identify signs of too rapid or too slow growth which is very important for ensuring kids grow to their healthy adult height and weight.
  • Development – Look through almost any baby book, and you’ll find lots of details about development.  Those first steps and first words are witnessed with anticipation and excitement.  Did you know that school aged kids and teens meet developmental milestones too?  The firsts definitely change as children age, but they are just as important to celebrate.  At each well child visit, we will talk about how your child is doing in school, at home and in their activities.  We can address any concerns you have and ensure they are developing on track.
  • Mental Health – Life has its stressors, and kids are impacted by those just as much as adults.  It’s no secret that mental health disorders like anxiety and depression are on the rise in kids, and growing up with the stressors of a global pandemic hasn’t helped.  At each well child visit, we will talk with you and your child about how they are doing.  If needs arise, we can help address them.  All of our providers are experienced in diagnosing and managing ADHD, anxiety, and depression.  We also have an experienced social worker to help support our patients and their families.
  • Vaccines – Vaccines are an important part of well child visits for infants and toddlers, and they can be for school aged kids and teens too.  Vaccines are required before starting school in Kindergarten and 7th graders.   We also recommend vaccines at the 15- and 16-year-old well child visits and will make sure your child is fully vaccinated before heading off to college, trade school or military service.  At each visit, we will review your child’s vaccine record to ensure they are up to date on their vaccines.  If you schedule your visit in the fall or winter months, we can give the annual flu vaccine at that visit as well.
  • Sports Physicals – All you parents of 6th – 12th graders know that your child needs a sports physical every year to participate in sports at school.  Did you know that a sports physical is included as part of an annual well child visit?  When you come for your visit, we will ensure that it is safe for your child to participate in extra-curricular activities and complete the sports physical form so that your kids don’t miss a day on the field. 
  • Relationship – Ask any pediatrician, and they will say their favorite part of their work is developing relationships with families and watching children grow from tiny infants to happy, healthy teens.  Seeing our patients and their families annually for well child care helps to build a strong, trusting relationship and ensures we address all your and your child’s concerns. We are here for it all from the smallest to the biggest worries that come with growing up.   

We recommend every child receives a physical exam every year from age 3-18 and more frequently when younger. For more information about well child appointments and parenting resources visit billingsclinic.com/kids

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