Health Checks for Your Child and Teen
As your child ages, he or she will need a host of health screenings and immunizations. Which screenings and shots your child needs depends upon a variety of factors, including age and family health history. The goal is to make sure your child is in the best health possible. Many of these tests are looking for potential health issues that if caught early may prevent the issue from developing into a serious health problem for your child.
Given the rise in childhood obesity, more children are being diagnosed with hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Routine visits to the physician can provide you with an opportunity to discuss lifestyle changes that address issues before they impact your child’s health.
Monitoring your child’s height and weight development and undergoing other behavioral assessments, for example, will help your physician determine whether your child is developing normally or is showing signs of autism or other developmental delays, among other issues.
Lead exposure screenings, meanwhile, will determine whether your child has lead levels in their body that are too high. Catching possible lead exposure early is critical to preventing its damaging effects. Lead poisoning can slow the physical and mental growth of your child, for example, damaging his or her central nervous system, among other health problems.
Undergoing recommended health screenings, eating healthy and exercising regularly are keys to raising a healthy child. Consult your physician with any questions you may have.
Childhood Health Check Schedule
Here are some recommended childhood health checks, courtesy of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield:
- 2 to 4 weeks, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months: Newborn screen; Height and weight measurement; Feeding and nutrition assessment; Development/behavior assessment; Hearing screen; Screen for possible lead exposure.
1 year, 15 months, 18 months, 2 years, 30 months, 3 years, 4 years: Height and weight measurement; BMI (Body Mass Index), beginning at age 2; Blood pressure measurement, beginning at age 3; Development/behavior school assessment; Vision and hearing screen, beginning at age 3; Blood lead level, ages 1 to 2 years.
Every year, from 5 to 10 years: Risk assessment: physical exam and history; Height and weight measurement; BMI; Blood pressure measurement; Development/behavior school assessment; Hearing screen, ages 5 through 9 years; Vision screen, ages 5, 6 and 8 years; Tobacco-use screen.
Every year, from 11 to 18 years: Risk assessment: physical exam and history; Height and weight measurement; BMI; Blood pressure measurement; Development/behavior school assessment; Vision screen, ages 12, 15 and 18 years; Tobacco-use screen; Alcohol-and drug-use screen; Screen for the risk of HIV, beginning at age 13.
Love Them, Immunize Them
Make sure your child's shots are up-to-date. For more information about childhood immunizations, click on the links below:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Web site also has a piece on the “ABCs of Caring for Healthy Children” that may also answer your questions.
For more information on any health topic, go to Excellus BCBS’ health information library.