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Well-Child Visits

The Importance of Well-Child Visits

Well-Child visits are an important tool used to check your child’s health and development at certain ages when early intervention and prevention can best keep your baby healthy. Infants and children grow and change rapidly, which is why they need more well-child visits when they are younger. Southwest Care Center’s skilled pediatricians are committed to providing family-friendly, whole-person care in a safe and friendly environment.

This means that we are focused on what works for you and your family as well as making sure we address all your needs – whether they are physical, emotional, environmental or some combination of these. Our caring pediatricians, nurse practitioners, LPNs and CMAs have decades of combined experience working with children. This means you can rest assured knowing your child is being seen by clinicians who are experienced in communicating with children and understand the kind of health issues children typically experience.



What to Expect at Your Southwest Care Center Well-Child Visit

A well-child visit is very common, and we do them every day. That being said, we know a visit to the doctor can come with some anxiety or at least some questions about what a patient can expect during their visits. We want you to be as comfortable as possible while you are a guest at our clinics. Below is a description of what a well-child visit looks like at Southwest Care Center.

When you come to a Southwest Care Center clinic you will be asked to fill out some paperwork. This can be time consuming but is necessary for us to have the information we need to best serve you. We are very successful at keeping our wait times short and rank in the top 95% of other medical clinics on this measure. Once it is time for your visit, a nurse or medical assistant will call you back to one of our pediatric exam rooms. The nurse or medical assistant will ask you questions, record information, and check your child’s vitals.

When your provider arrives, he or she will ask focused questions about your child’s growth and development as well as perform a complete physical exam. This is important to make sure your child is meeting milestones and developing at a normal rate. Your provider will discuss any concerns you may have about your child. He or she will also discuss any vaccines that are due at each well child check-up.

Your provider will finish up the visit by going over anticipatory guidance. This part of the visit is designed to educate parents about many things, including what to expect next in your child’s development, safety recommendations, nutrition, exercise and more. After your child’s visit is complete, make sure to stop at the nurse’s desk for some stickers!

Important Information about Well-Child Visits

Your pediatrician will likely recommend your first well-baby exam to be scheduled within two to three days after your baby is born, or shortly after the mother is discharged from the hospital. Additional well-child exams at Southwest Care Center are typically scheduled at:

  • 2 weeks
  • 1 month
  • 2 months
  • 4 months
  • 6 months
  • 9 months
  • 12 months
  • 15 months
  • 18 months
  • 24 months
  • 2.5 years
  • 3 years
  • Annually after 3 years

Your Child’s Measurements

At Southwest Care Center, well-child exams typically begin with measurements. You’ll need to undress your child so he or she can be accurately weighed on an infant scale. Length will be measured by placing your child on a flat surface and stretching his or her legs out, and your nurse or medical assistant will use a special measuring tape to measure his or her head circumference.

The measurements will be plotted on a growth chart to determine your child’s growth curve and determine if your baby is growing normally. These measurements also show how your child’s growth compared to other children of the same age.

Comprehensive Physical Exam

Well-child visits involve a thorough physical exam. During the physical exam, you can expect your child’s pediatrician to check the following:

  • Head: The pediatrician will examine your child’s head to make sure it is growing appropriately.
  • Ears: The pediatrician will check your child’s ears for any fluid or possible infection, and they may check your child’s response to different sounds, such as the sound of your voice.
  • Eyes: Using an ophthalmoscope, the pediatrician will examine your child’s eyes. As your child gets a little older, the pediatrician may use a flashlight or other bright object to get your child’s attention and track their eye movements.
  • Mouth: The pediatrician will take a look inside your child’s mouth to look for any abnormalities.
  • Skin: The pediatrician will examine your child for any possible skin conditions, including birthmarks, moles and rashes.
  • Heart and lungs: Using a stethoscope, the pediatrician will listen to your child’s heart and lungs to detect any unusual heart sounds, rhythms, or difficulty breathing. If any abnormalities are detected, your pediatrician may refer you to a partner provider for a follow-up check with a specialist.
  • Abdomen: The pediatrician will gently feel your child’s abdomen, checking for any tenderness or enlarged organs.
  • Hips and legs: The pediatrician may manipulate your child’s legs to check for dislocation of other issues with the hip joints.
  • Genitalia: The pediatrician will typically inspect your child’s genitalia to check for normal growth and development.

Unless your baby has special needs or concerns, lab tests aren’t needed at most well-child visits.

Your Child’s Development

It’s important to note your child’s motor skills and how they are developing. Your Southwest Care Center pediatrician may ask you questions meant to gauge your child’s motor development, such as:

  • How well does your infant/child control his or her head?
  • Does your child imitate your facial expressions and sounds?
  • Does your child reach for objects or put them into his or her mouth?
  • Does your child attempt to roll over?
  • Can your child sit up with support?
  • Does your child pull up into a standing position?
  • Does your child use individual fingers to pick up small objects?

Your pediatrician will also ask you questions to understand what a typical day is like for your child, such as:

  • How many hours does your child sleep during the day? At night?
  • How often do you feed your child? If you’re breastfeeding, are you having any issues or difficulties?
  • How many times does your child urinate/defecate in a day?
  • How active is your child?
  • How is your child’s temperament?

In addition, your child’s doctor might ask questions regarding any family medical history. The pediatrician might also bring up safety issues, such as placing your child on his or her back to sleep. Your provider will also discuss changes in dietary needs as your child grows. Consider writing down your questions beforehand so you don’t forget them in the moment.

Your Child’s Immunizations

Your child will need to receive various immunizations during well-child visits. Southwest Care Center asks that parents keep track of their child’s immunization record and always remember to bring it to appointments. We can provide you with paperwork to help you keep track, and your child’s pediatrician will always be happy to take the time to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding vaccines. During injections, our pediatricians commonly instruct parents to hold the child to keep him or her still. After the injection, we encourage parents to talk to, sing or feed your child to soothe them. You can also download and print an easy-to-read immunization schedule and record form by clicking on the link below. This immunization schedule is recommended by the CDC, the AAP and most physicians. It is reviewed annually by a diverse group of healthcare providers and public health officials and changed as necessary to include the latest research and safety guidelines.

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Why Not Just Use Urgent Care?

Unfortunately, many parents rely on urgent care clinics to treat their children. While urgent care can provide convenience, your child may be seen by a doctor who has never seen them before, has no relationship with you or your child and who doesn’t know your child’s medical history. At Southwest Care Center, we see children on a walk-in basis and offer same-day appointments. We score in the top 5% of clinics nationally on our ability to see patients within 15 minutes of their arrival. We can provide convenience and all the benefits of continuity of care for your child and the whole family through our commitment to pediatrics and family medicine.

If you believe like we do that children and families deserve to have regular healthcare tailored to suit their needs, please call us to set up an appointment at (505) 988-8869.