Medical Care and Your 4- to 5-Year-Old
The Well-Child Visit
Regular well-child examinations are essential to keeping kids healthy and up-to-date on immunizations against many dangerous childhood diseases.
A checkup also is an opportunity for your doctor to talk to you about developmental and safety issues and for you ask questions you might have about your child's overall health.
What to Expect at the Doctor's Office
At yearly exams, the doctor will weigh and measure your child to make sure he or she is progressing along a normal pattern of growth. The doctor will take a medical and family history and perform a complete physical examination.
During the visit, your child will be screened for high blood pressure and you'll be asked about your child's history of lead exposure and your family's history of cardiovascular disease and hyperlipidemia (an excess of fat and cholesterol and/or other fats in the blood).
The doctor will check your child's immunization record to see if any vaccinations are needed. Booster doses of DTaP, IPV, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) are usually given between your child's fourth birthday and school entry. A tuberculin skin test (PPD) may be done to check for exposure to tuberculosis. Before flu season, your child should also receive a flu shot.
The doctor will check for crossed eyes and any vision and hearing problems, and also check the teeth for tooth decay, abnormal tooth development, malocclusion (abnormal bite), dental injuries, or other problems. In addition to the doctor's dental evaluation, your child should be making regular visits to the dentist.
During this exam, the doctor will also check behavioral and social development, asking questions to see if your child's everyday behavior is age appropriate, how well your child operates in social situations, and how well he or she can communicate and understand directions.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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