8 Annual Appointments You Need to Make for Your Childs Health


When people become parents, they often dream of all the great things they’ll do with their children. Those glorious moments will make life-long memories: teaching them to read, throw a ball, watching them perform in school plays, birthday parties, their first day of preschool, shopping for their first formal dance, touring colleges, and everything in between. While it’s certainly true that there are a ton of great times to be had, your most important responsibility is to keep your child’s health as a top priority. This is every parent’s never-ending quest from the day we bring them home until they strike out on their own.

We do our best to maintain our kids well being. Teaching them about dangers and risks, showing them how to care for themselves, ensuring they are socially and mentally healthy, and maintaining a safe and healthy home. Another vital aspect of keeping your child healthy is making regular appointments that ensure your child stays healthy. While some are obvious, like primary care visits, others might slip under the radar. But no worries, we’re here to explore seven annual appointments you must make for your child’s health.

1. Wellness Exams With a Pediatrician

Annual pediatric checkups are vital to your child’s health. It allows the doctor to track development, has a baseline for the child’s general health, and lets them perform tests and screenings that can catch issues early to provide proper treatment and resolve them. Annual exams also ensure your child will stay on track with necessary vaccinations and that they meet the requirements for school. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any early learning childcare center that will enroll a child without the appropriate vaccines.

The annual wellness exam is also a great time to ask questions and address concerns about development, nutrition, mental health, and socialization. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children between 1 and 18 have one wellness physical a year. Children under the age of one need to have several visits to the doctor to ensure they are in good health, have their weight monitored and receive vaccinations. Your pediatrician will discuss a schedule based on your child’s needs.

A typical wellness visit for your child will include a height and weight check (to ensure they are growing at an average rate), vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, etc.), complete physical check (abdominal palpation, reflexes), vision and hearing screening, developmental milestones, vaccinations, and a complete blood count (tests for lead and iron levels). The doctor will consult with you to ensure your child is receiving the proper nutrition, exercise, and socialization based on their age.

2. Dental Exams

A regular dental checkup is vital for your child’s overall health. Not only do dental exams ensure strong and healthy teeth, but they can also help identify underlying issues and conditions like cancer, digestive disorders, bone issues, and heart problems. It’s recommended that children go for their first dental exam around their first birthday and every six months after that. It’s essential to visit your family dentist as fun and as smooth as possible.

Ensure the dentist has experience with children, is personable, and has a warm, child-friendly office. A typical dental exam for your child will include a visual check of the mouth, gums, teeth, and neck to ensure no visible abnormalities. Then, x-rays will be taken, so the dentist can check for any issues occurring under the gums or the interior of the teeth. After that, a dental cleaning will be performed by either the dentist or the dental hygienist. This includes scaling the teeth to remove tartar and plaque and polishing to brighten the teeth.

At the end of the visit, the dentist will review tips and practices that ensure proper care of your child’s teeth. They may prescribe a fluoride-enriched supplement and present your child with a goodie bag full of tooth-friendly treats like toothbrushes, flavored toothpaste, and floss. Occasionally, the dentist may discover cavities or other issues that need attention. Additional appointments may be necessary to remedy these problems.

3. Vision Exams

While a pediatrician usually does a vision screening that can help alert you to some vision issues, a screening is not a replacement for an annual vision exam by an experienced ophthalmologist or optometrist. These medical professionals specialize in the structure and diseases of the eye. Both are qualified to perform eye exams, write prescriptions for glasses and fonts and lenses, and diagnose and treat conditions related to the eye.

The main difference is that ophthalmologists can perform surgery, but optometrists cannot. Therefore, either professional is acceptable to conduct your child’s routine eye exam. However, it would help if you asked for recommendations from an eye doctor who specializes in working with children because the exam uses equipment that may be overwhelming and scary to children. So, it’s essential to have someone who is patient and compassionate and will take the time to explain what’s happening throughout the exam regarding your child’s health.

Many eye doctors have their own practice, but some also work in an optometry clinic where other services are available, like optician services. This is convenient if the doctor prescribes glasses for your child. The optician will help you choose the right glasses based on your prescription, adjust the frames to fit your face, and answer any questions related to the care of the glasses.

It’s recommended that children see an eye doctor every 1–2 years. However, if your child is experiencing blurry vision, sensitivity to light, headaches, dry eye, or discharge, you should make an appointment immediately. Conditions like these are fairly uncommon in children, but may signal a need for glasses.

4. Landscaping Services

We know that a landscaper can beautify the outdoor green spaces of our property, but did you know they can help keep your child healthy? Even if your budget doesn’t allow for monthly service, just scheduling annual spring and fall clean-ups can have positive health effects for everyone in the house. During these big seasonal cleans, the landscaper will rid your property of debris, weeds, and other materials that can cause allergies and respiratory issues.

The general clean-up can also uncover and control insects and their nests that can cause illness or painful bites if they come in contact with your child. For instance, wasps and bees build nests in hidden nooks and crannies like a swing set or playhouse. The last thing you want is for your child to suffer a painful sting and have an allergic reaction.

Another way landscapers can help control insects is to ensure standing water and moisture are controlled, so your yard doesn’t become a haven for mosquitoes. In general, a landscaper can help make your outdoor space safe and enjoyable. This way, your child’s health can be assured and they can get the fresh air and exercise they need to stay healthy.

5. Teacher Conferences

Maintaining regular communication with teachers is vital to our children’s education. Formal schooling usually begins with preschool education and continues through college or other post-secondary training. Most of us have gotten the occasional e-mail, note in the backpack, or even a phone call that may address a behavior issue, learning difficulty, or trouble with social adjustment. But how often do we make it a point to sit down with our child’s teacher and discuss concerns at both ends?

While most schools have back-to-school nights or open houses, there’s little opportunity to sit down one-on-one with the teacher and talk about your child’s progress. Some schools do have conference days – but many parents don’t feel the need to go if their child is well-behaved and getting good grades. This can be a mistake because your child’s teacher can often offer valuable insights into your child’s health.

Since they are around your child when visual, auditory, and other essential skills are used, they often notice things you may not. Teachers can help point out if your child may need glasses, an auditory screening, speech therapy, or other services that affect their health. Teachers may also notice issues related to social and emotional health. In these cases, they can recommend services like counseling, playgroups, or even alternate educational settings like a private pre-k with smaller class sizes.

6. Pool Maintenance

Having a pool is an excellent way for your kids to maintain their health by allowing them fun exercise, fresh air, and sunshine. But annual pool maintenance and inspection should always be on your to-do list before anyone dives in. While pools are oodles of fun, there’s a lot to consider to ensure a safe and healthy experience. For starters, a yearly structural inspection should ensure no tears in the lining, cracks, or breaks in the concrete, foundation, deck, or patio areas.

Next, the mechanics should be checked, including the pump, filtration system, and electrical systems. All pool repair should be done before anyone enters the pool. You’ll likely need to “shock” the water to sanitize and balance the pH levels. This is usually done with the help of chemicals. All of these tasks help ensure that your child avoids injury and illness.

For example, improperly chlorinated water can spread stomach bugs, skin rashes, and ear and eye infections. Dangers from poorly maintained decking or foundations can cause cuts, scrapes, splinters, and sprained ankles. Finally, it’s essential to check the condition of any fencing, ladders, and diving boards. Harsh winters, animals, and general wear can affect the integrity of these structures. If they aren’t working correctly, an injury can quickly occur to children.

7. HVAC Inspection

HVAC refers to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Since these systems control the air quality and comfort levels of your home, you must have an annual inspection done by a professional. These technicians are licensed experts who maintain, repair and replace parts in your home’s heating and air systems. They will conduct seasonal and emergency maintenance on your boiler and outdoor or indoor air conditioning units, change filters, tighten loose wires, clean air ducts, and ensure that all systems are up to code.

They can also help you save money by discussing options for updated thermostats and equipment that provide optimum energy efficiency. More importantly, an annual HVAC inspection will ensure good air quality and be free of allergens like mold, dust, and pet dander. These are often found in air filters and ducts and can cause respiratory issues, allergies, headaches, eye irritation, and skin rashes in children. Maintaining proper seasonal temperatures is also vital when children are in your home. Extreme temperatures in either direction can cause illness in very young children, especially those with underlying conditions like asthma.

8. Pest Control

It’s always wise to have an annual pest inspection done in your home. Please don’t assume that, because you don’t see pests, they aren’t lurking around in dark and hidden spaces. It also has nothing to do with the cleanliness of your home, so don’t feel bad if an infestation is found. Many times, insects and mice will enter a house in packages, on cardboard, or due to nearby construction, which can negatively impact your child’s health.

If you live in certain areas, it’s pretty standard to have insects pay a visit. For example, Florida has a vast population of Palmetto bugs (cockroaches). It’s not uncommon for residents to find these creepy crawlies claiming space in their houses. It’s also common practice for Florida residents to have pest control companies spray to combat the icky bugs.

While nobody likes vermin in their homes, it can be incredibly unhealthy and even dangerous for children to be exposed to them. Flies, roaches, mice, and mosquitoes are all known to carry a variety of diseases that can make your child sick. Additionally, spiders, fleas, and bed bugs can cause painful reactions along with itching and general discomfort. Pest control services can find the source of the infestation, seal cracks, and holes, and get rid of newsstand hives. They will use the appropriate method of extermination (traps, bombs, sprays, etc.) that is right for your home and family.

Annual appointments are necessary for your child’s health and well-being. They run the gamut from doctors and teachers to home improvement professionals and repair technicians. There’s nothing more important than your child’s health, so remember – it takes a village.

About the Author

Medical Disclaimer

The information provided on this website is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. The content on the website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, treatment, or advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.


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