What is a well-care visit? In addition to taking your child to the physician when your child is ill, or needs an examination to participate in a particular activity, routine well-care visits are recommended.
Well-care, well-baby, or well-child visits are routine visits to the child's physician for the following reasons:
- physical examinations
- immunization updates
- tracking growth and development
- finding any problems before they become serious
- information on health and safety issues
- information on nutrition and physical fitness
- information on how to manage emergencies and illnesses
Your child's physician can also provide guidance on other issues, such as the following:
- behavioral problems
- learning problems
- emotional problems
- family problems
- socialization problems
- puberty and concerns about teenage years
When should well-care visits be scheduled? Your child's physician will give you a schedule of ages when a well-care visit is suggested. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends this schedule for routine well-care visits at the following ages: before newborn is discharged from the hospital, or at 48 to 72 hours of age:
- 2 to 4 weeks
- 2 months
- 4 months
- 6 months
- 9 months
- 12 months
- 15 months
- 18 months
- 24 months
- 2 years
- 3 years
- 4 years
- 5 years
- 6 years
- 8 years
- 10 years
- Annually, between ages of 11 and 21 years
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women have their first Pap test at age 21. Women ages 21-29 should have a Pap test every 2 years. Women 30 and older who have had three consecutive negative Pap Tests may be screened every 3 years. It's reasonable to discontinue screening after three or more consecutive negative Pap tests and no abnormal results within the last 10 years once a woman turns 65 or 70.
According to information found in the Congressional Record (S.J. Res. 179): Significant numbers of male-related health problems such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, infertility, and colon cancer could be detected and treated if men's awareness of these problems was more pervasive. Educating both the public and healthcare providers about the importance of early detection of male health problems will result in reducing rates of mortality for these diseases.
- After age 20: every 5 years have a full lipid profile test for cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Every 3 years after age 30:have a physical examination by your physician.
- Every 2 years after age 40:have a physical examination by your physician.
- After age 50: have a flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years, or as recommended by your physician.
- After age 50: have a colonoscopy every 10 years, or as recommended by your physician.
- After age 50: have a double contrast barium enema every 5 -10 years, or as recommended by your physician.