Community Care of North Carolina explains why it’s important to take a healthy child to the doctor

Last updated: June 03. 2014 5:48PM - 321 Views
By Kitsey E. Burns

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The first 2,000 days of life are vitally important in a child’s development. A child should reach milestones in how he plays, learns, speaks, acts and moves. Community Care of North Carolina encourages parents and guardians to schedule regular well check-ups for their child. Well check-ups are the best way to detect any developmental needs your child may have. Appropriate screening at these check-ups can determine whether children as young as one year are at-risk for developmental delays.

According to recent claims data in Yadkin County, only 21.4 percent of Medicaid children are seeing their doctor for the recommended six preventive care check-ups within the first 15 months of life.

Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control indicate that developmental delays, like autism, are often not identified until kindergarten entry or later. Catching delays early can make a big difference in the life of your child. Early treatment can reduce delay effects and help your child learn, grow and thrive.

“Scheduling well check-ups is one of the most important things a parent can do,” said Dr. Henry C. Hawthorne Jr., pediatric consultant and Community Care of North Carolina, Inc. board member. “Treating delays early not only improves chances for treatment but improves you child’s chances of living a healthier life.”

A parent may not think it is important to take their well child to the doctor but keeping up-to-date with these check-ups is a critical part of a healthy start. Most insurance programs cover these preventive care check-ups and being proactive will save money and improve a child’s health. Don’t wait to schedule a child’s appointment.

“Waiting to bring your child to a pediatrician until he or she is sick or demonstrating signs of a development issue can be detrimental,” said Hawthorne. “Staying proactive about your child’s health from the beginning will improve their well being overall and lessen the risks of undiagnosed disorders.”

What happens at a well check-up?

Depending on the age of the child, the following services might be offered:

• Developmental Screen

• Immunizations (shots)

• Health History

• Physical Exam

• Height and Weight

• Vision and Hearing Check

• Dental Check

• Nutrition Review

• Lab Tests as needed

• Guidance

• Follow-­up/Referral if Needed

How do well check-ups help a child?

• Doctors can check for more things when a child is well.

• Regular well check-ups help the doctor better understand a child’s needs.

• Shots that protect a child are given when the child is well.

• Early treatment may keep possible health problems from getting worse.

What are the recommended ages for well check-ups?

• Within 1st month

• 9 or 15 months

• 2 months

• 12 months

• 4 months

• 18 months

• 6 months

• Once a year for ages 2 years- 20 years

• Foster Care Children: Twice a year for ages 2 years – 20 years

The Assuring Better Child Health and Development program, or ABCD, is working in North Carolina with doctors and other local providers to increase the number of children ages birth to five who receive high-quality developmental screenings in their regular doctor’s office to reduce health risks, identify children with unmet health concerns, and help young children obtain the services they need to be successful. ABCD is made possible by the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Grant and through collaboration between Smart Start of North Carolina and Community Care of North Carolina.

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