Questions for Your Doctor at Your Child’s Back-to-School Checkup

Questions for Your Doctor at Your Child’s Back-to-School Checkup

With August just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to schedule your child for a checkup with your doctor before school starts. An annual checkup is a great way to build a medical record for your child, which can be beneficial when it comes to your child’s continuity of care. Here are some questions to ask your child’s doctor to ensure that you’re making the most of your time at the doctor’s office.

Are My Child’s Immunizations Up to Date?

The state of Texas requires that all children attending school must be current with their vaccinations. However the requirements by public school are a minimum, and not complete. For example, every child in the US should be protected against Hepatitis A, a vaccine usually given at 12 months of age. But many school districts don’t require the vaccine until 7th grade! Therefore many parents assume that their child is “up to date” and they may not be. For more information pertaining to what vaccines are required for your child, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control website for more details, or check the Continuum website under Patient Resources.

Is My Child Developing Normally and Meeting Their Developmental Milestones?

All children develop at their own pace; however, they generally follow a specific pattern to let us know they are healthy and everything is going as expected. These traits, behaviors, and physical skills are known as developmental milestones. For instance, a 4mo would be able to chuckle in response to a parent trying to make them laugh, a 1 year old should have one recognizable word they say, and a 5 year old should be able to stand on one foot for ten seconds or longer, amongst other things according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Dr. Mandal will be able to go into further detail about what to expect with your child at their current age.

Is My Child Within a Healthy Weight Range for Their Age Group?

Childhood obesity is now considered a national health emergency. Obesity often begins early in life, as a child, and is a chronic illness that can lead to a multitude of other potentially serious health problems, especially as children grow into young adults. Health problems commonly associated with obesity include diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and liver issues. Not only can obesity affect children physically, but it can also cause psychological and mental stress. At your well visits, your doctor will discuss a healthy diet that is age appropriate for your child, and how your child’s growth patterns for height and weight are doing.

How Much Sleep Should My Child Be Getting?

Sleep is important for both children and teens in that it plays a significant role in the overall development of their bodies. Getting a full night’s rest is associated with cell repair and growth, while also improving one’s immune system. On the other hand, regular sleep deprivation can lead to problems in regard to health, both physically and mentally. It can cause irritability and difficulty concentrating, to more long-term problems like hypertension, obesity, and depression. Your doctor will have a good idea of how much your child should be sleeping on any given night. Be sure to follow through and set up a regular daily routine that it can develop into a healthy habit.

For more information on the web, visit healthychildren.org. If you have questions or would like to discuss any concerns you have regarding your child, you can schedule an appointment with me, Dr. Kathryn Mandal, by calling 817-617-8600 or scheduling online at continuumtx.com.

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