First, your doctor or medical provider will ask you questions about your child’s habits, school readiness and physical activity. Your doctor will ask about potty training, dental health, and your child’s diet. This is a good time to ask your doctor about your child’s development or behavior concerns.
Next, your doctor will do a physical exam, which includes your child’s height, weight, blood pressure, vision test, hearing test and a urine test. Your health care provider will make sure your child is developing normally.
Finally, your doctor will recommend vaccines for your child depending on your child’s age. Vaccines for children entering kindergarten usually include chicken pox, MMR (mumps, measles and rubella), Prevnar 13 (pneumonia), and Kinrix (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio). These vaccines prevent the deaths of many children each year. Chickenpox, for example, is spread by coughing and sneezing, and spreads rapidly through close contact. While mild illness produces headache, fever and itchy rash, the severe illness can cause severe brain and lung illness and death. Prevention of serious disease is an important goal, especially for young children.
Talk to your health care provider about any other concerns you have. For example, does your child have problems with temper tantrums, potty training or sleep problems? These are common problems during early childhood. Your health care provider can provide guidance for a range of developmental challenges as your child is growing up.
Have a wonderful end-of-summer time with your children. And remember to make that appointment for your child’s Well Child Checkup. We celebrate your child’s first day of kindergarten with you!
Gwen Lindgren is a pediatric physicians assistant for Pediatric Associates of Montrose.