With back to school just around the corner it's a good time to talk about well-child examinations and sports physicals. Consider this when looking at the difference in a well-child examination versus a sports physical; there's more depth to a well-child examination. Where, sports physical, generally consists of reviewing medical history and a physical exam, such as taking height and weight, heart rate and rhythm, and muscle movement. Exams may differ per provider. While important, a sports physical can be encompassed into a well-child check to include the examination of vital senses, development, and mental health.
Well-child examinations are a check point that parents or guardians can share with their child in the transitions that they make throughout their life, whether physical or emotional. Staying current and informed about a child's development allows for an impactful outcome of maintaining and instilling healthy and positive coping mechanisms when obstacles arise.
The well-child examination provides a two birds one stone effect putting your costs and time first, for the opportunity to provide wholesome care.
Well-child visits allow your provider to examine your child wholly by assessing their physical and emotional needs, supporting their growth and development, along with the compiled knowledge of your child’s health to intervene if issues arise. A provider is able to examine a multitude of growth and development in conjunction with the review of health history and a physical examination required for a sports physical needed prior to actively engaging in school or community sporting teams or clubs.
A standard well-child visit schedule spans from infancy through adolescence. Ages for well-child checks take place throughout the life span of an individual beginning when they are newly born, 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 15,18 months and yearly or more from 2 to 21 years of age.
What to Expect?
There are a multitude of health factors assessed when a health provider performs a well-child examine during a visit. Determining whether growth and development stages are on track depending on the age of the child. Evaluation of vision and hearing for anything that may be presenting that is out of the ordinary – it is beneficial to catch these issues as early as possible. This is a time that changes in usual behavior such as, activities, mood, or health can be addressed.
Taking a closer look at a child’s mental health and asking questions about how they are handling the changes or transitions in school, with friends, family, or other outside influences. Providers can share or update immunization information for childhood disease and other common conditions that affect children and young adults, like measles and HPV.
Learning opportunities present through a well-child exam and parents are able to absorb knowledge to related back to their child’s diet, sleeping patterns, nutrition, social interaction characteristics, behaviors, and even stressors or stress levels. This can be applied in daily life moving forward to better assist the needs of the child. Provide healthy habits to be established and helpful tips for families to reinforce better beneficial habits and options at home.
Assisting healthy effective communication!
In situations that counseling may be an option providers can offer age, behavior-based counseling. Teens can benefit from this by learning about topics that pertain to driver safety, depression and drug or alcohol use. This gives the opportunity to check in on your family and how they are doing to support identifying any resources or related advice to use when navigating daily life.