Are You Getting the Right Preventive Care for your Child?

Are You Getting the Right Preventive Care for your Child?

Jun 05 2014

Parents can keep their child healthy at any age through preventive care.

But what’s the difference in preventive care for kids at 17 weeks versus 17 years? The answer may surprise you.

From newborns to high school seniors, countless preventive care measures can be taken to keep your children healthy. Below are some ways to help you through their developmental years.

Babies might be the most obvious group for these measures and for good reason. Newborn screenings test for diseases or disorders. Newborn preventive care includes assessments such as:

  • Hearing screening
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Hemoglobin (sickle cell) screening
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU) screening
  • Congenital Hypothyroidism screening

Besides these, tracking your baby’s height, weight and Body Mass Index as well as proper immunizations are important ways to help ensure a healthy start to their lives.

Young children should see the doctor seven times between the ages of 1 and 4.

Toddlers and young children grow quickly, so they need regular visits to the doctor to maintain good health. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, young children should see the doctor seven times between the ages of 1 and 4. Visits should take place at 12 months, 15 months, 18 months, 24 months, 30 months and 3 and 4 years old. Toddler preventive care includes:

  • Autism screening
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Vision screening
  • Developmental screening for children under age 3

Adolescents, ages 5 to 10, are going through one of the most important growth stages in their lives. Besides exercise, nutrition and yearly doctor visits, it’s important for parents to remember extra preventive care for this active age group. Adolescent preventive care includes:

  • Oral health risk assessments
  • Obesity screening and counseling
  • Teaching personal body care (bathing, brushing teeth, getting dressed)
  • Depression screening
  • Immunizations for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.

“Tweens” are entering a developmental period in their lives and start to take some control of their health. At this age, kids should have yearly visits with their physician for a full check-up. Pre-teen preventive care includes:

  • Depression screening
  • Necessary immunizations for HPV, Hepatitis A & B and Polio
  • Blood pressure screening
  • Hematocrit (percentage of red blood cells) screening

It is important to monitor and help foster healthy habits in young adults as they prepare for life after high school.

Teenagers may think that they have their health under control, but it is important to monitor and help foster healthy habits in these young adults as they prepare for life after high school. Gym memberships, sports and family activities are some of the ways teenagers can maintain a healthy lifestyle. Teenage preventive care includes:

  • Body Mass Index, as growth is starting to slow and will eventually stop
  • Positive and negative behavioral assessments
  • Cervical Dysplasia (Cervical cancer) screenings for sexually active females
  • HIV screenings for teenagers believed to be at-risk
  • Sexually Transmitted Infection prevention counseling and screening

Though teenagers aren’t as susceptible to illness as their younger siblings, promoting and maintaining healthy habits through preventive care can make a difference as they grow into adulthood.

Take advantage of these services to maintain good health, and moods, in the home each year.

Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to receive the latest information from

ThinkHealth

Sign Up