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Your child’s health

By AJ Murphy

Young girl carries her sister on her back for a walk through the woods

Nothing is more important than your child’s health

Just like you, we want your child to grow up healthy and happy. That’s why we cover well-child checkups. These are covered from the day your child is born until they turn 20. Your child will have a lot of checkups before they turn 2. After that, they will only have to go for a checkup once a year.

Children grow and change very quickly. This is why they need to see a primary care physician (PCP) regularly for well-child checkups.

What happens during a well-child checkup?

During a checkup, your child’s PCP will:

  • Do a complete physical exam
  • Check your child’s growth and development
  • Check your child’s vision, hearing and teeth
  • Give shots as needed
  • Order lab work, like blood tests, as needed
  • Answer any questions that you might have, like what foods are best for your child
  • Find any health problems before they become serious
  • Get to know your child so they can take better care of them

When should I bring my child to their well-child checkup?

You should bring your child to their checkups on a regular basis, even if they aren’t sick. To help you stay on track and never miss a checkup, we’ve made this schedule. Your child should see their PCP when they are:

  • Neonatal (between the time they are born and 1 month old)
  • Under 6 weeks old
  • 2 months old
  • 4 months old
  • 6 months old
  • 9 months old
  • 12 months old
  • 15 months old
  • 18 months old
  • 24 months old
  • 3 to 20 years old (once a year)

You should take your child to the doctor immediately if they have:

  • Behavior that’s troubling or different than usual
  • Fever of 103 F or higher
  • Rashes or skin infections
  • Frequent sore throats
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sudden weight gain or loss

Should I vaccinate my child?

The right shots (vaccinations) can protect your child against serious diseases like whooping cough and measles. Your child should get their shots during their well-child checkup. You can call your child’s PCP to see if they are due for a shot. You can also check the schedule of shots by age group when you visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccines and immunizations webpage.

Other helpful resources

Vaccination schedule: 0 to 6 years

Vaccination schedule: 7 to 18 years

KidsHealth®

About the author

AJ Murphy is an evocative young writer who grew up in Boston's Charlestown neighborhood. AJ began his writing career at Alaska Ice Rinks Inc. in Anchorage, AK, where he also drove a Zamboni and took care of outdoor hockey rinks.

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